IMEs & Expert Opinions in Injury Claims

When someone is pursuing a civil claim for car accident injuries, long term disability benefits, or any injury at the fault of another an independent medical exam (IME) is a critical part of the claims process. The medical evidence provided by an IME can be the determinant in an injury claim, but most injury victims are unaware of what an IME is, and don’t know their rights regarding an IME. 

A lawyer who focuses on personal injury law can advise you on an IME. We inform all our clients of what to expect when asked to undergo an IME, and that knowledge can make a difference when seeking compensation.

close up of doctor bandaging one hand after an accident

What is an independent medical examination?

An independent medical examination is when an independent physician examines a person’s injuries. In most cases, the physician is deemed “independent” if they don’t have a doctor-patient relationship with the victim. During an IME, the cause and severity of the person’s injuries are evaluated, as well as if any long term medical treatment is necessary. 

The cause and severity of an injury can ultimately decide how much a victim is compensated, and it’s why an IME can be the most crucial part of any claim. 

When is an IME requested?

An IME typically arises when a person is trying to seek compensation for their injuries. For example: you’re injured by a negligent driver in a car accident and suffer a concussion. If you take legal action against the driver to receive compensation, their insurance company might ask you to undergo an IME to get opinions on the severity of your injury. 

Even if your injuries have already been analyzed by your physician, there is the possibility of your personal doctor being biased in their examination. This is the ultimate purpose of an IME - to allow an unbiased physician to assess a victim’s injuries and decide whether or not the injuries are directly related to a particular cause.

However, although the physician used for an IME may be unbiased towards you, they often times have a relationship with the insurance company.

Types of IMEs we request

We have a network of professionals who we obtain expert opinions from.  In the case of IMEs, we use doctors in the following fields:

  •     Physical medicine and rehabilitation
  •     Chronic pain specialists
  •     Fibromyalgia experts such as rheumatologists
  •     Orthopaedic specialists
  •     Psychiatrists
  •     Plastic surgeons

We also use a number of experts who are not doctors but can provide helpful opinions. We can obtain expert opinions on most topics and have a wide range of options in our network. We cover the cost of the assessments.

If you need more information contact us here, or call 1-888-434-0398. 

The rules respecting IMEs in various provinces are as follows:

Nova Scotia (Rule 55) 

New Brunswick (Rule 32.06 & 52)

Prince Edward Island (Rule 53) 

Newfoundland (Rule 46.07)

Quebec (S. 402) 

Ontario (Rule 53.03) 

Manitoba (Rule 36 and 53.03) 

Saskatchewan (Rule 5-37 to 5-49) 

Alberta (Rules 5.34 to 5.44) 

British Columbia (Rule 40-A)