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What Is an Independent Medical Evaluation and How Will It Affect My Case?

When you’re pursuing a personal injury claim in Las Vegas, you may be informed that the insurance company on the other side wants you to have an “independent medical examination.” An independent medical exam is really a defense medical exam and offers an opportunity for the defendant to use their own medical professional to evaluate your injuries. This type of examination is sometimes allowed under NRCP 35 and is an opportunity for the other side to gather their own evidence about your injuries to help make their case, rather than relying on your doctors’ reports. If you’re asked to undergo an independent medical examination, your Las Vegas injury lawyer can help you to prepare.

Independent Exams Aren’t Really Independent

It’s important to know that a qualified, licensed physician or other medical professional with the appropriate qualifications should conduct an independent medical exam. Under the Nevada Rules of Civil Procedure, the examiner must be suitably licensed or certified for the examination being delivered.

The exam itself should not be an adversarial or unpleasant experience; the doctor will ask questions and may run some tests in order to help them evaluate your injuries. However, while this is called an independent medical exam, it is important to remember that this is an effort by the defense to reduce your compensation.

Limited Scope of Questions

The person conducting the exam may ask you questions about your injuries and other factors that could be related. For example, the doctor could ask about prior injuries in the same location. On the other hand, the doctor does not have the right to question you about unrelated personal matters or embarrassing issues that are not related to the type of injury you suffer from.

Under the law, both sides have the right to view the evidence in a personal injury case, and the most important evidence is your own injuries. Independent medical exams are usually only allowed if you are still injured from you’re the incident. The examiner will issue a report on your injuries and you have a right to receive a full, detailed copy of the report, including any test results.

How You Can Challenge Errors

Your Las Vegas injury lawyer can research the examiner being used by the defense, especially if it becomes necessary to challenge errors or inaccuracies the defense uses to minimize or reduce your claim. The physician may be less qualified or specialized than your own physician or could even have relevant disciplinary records that could be raised to challenge the results. Often, the “independent” medical examiner makes large sums of money providing reports only for insurance companies. The insurance companies hire these doctors because they continue to provide favorable reports.

When you’re seeking compensation for injuries suffered as a result of another party’s negligent actions, the insurance company on the other side will work extensively to try to reduce what you are owed. A personal injury law firm Las Vegas can help you fight for what you deserve. Call The Schnitzer Law Firm at 702-960-4050 or use the online form to schedule a free consultation with our experienced personal injury lawyers.

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