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career consultants - changing your future

Strengthen Your Personal Injury Lawsuit with an Independent Medical Exam

by Matias Manninen

Proving the extent of your injuries is always part of a personal injury lawsuit. When your injuries are complicated or difficult to establish, it may be important to get an independent medical exam to assess your current health. While your own treatment team will be able to identify your injuries and comment on your progress, an independent provider will be able to provide additional insight as to how seriously hurt you really are. When you are trying to establish a medical end to treatment, and you are stating that you are permanently disabled, an exam by an outside provider can strengthen your case.

Reaching a Medical End to Treatment

The range of your injury matters when it comes to compensation for your personal injury lawsuit. In general, the longer you are expected to remain disabled, the more money you will receive. When your injury is difficult to measure, deciding just how long the injury is expected to last can be complicated. For example, you may have sustained a back injury that has left you unable to work. While the problem can be identified and treated, you are still experiencing pain six months later. Since pain is subjective, your treatment team may be unable to determine how long your back pain can be expected to last. In the reverse, if you lost a limb, it is clear that the loss of your limb is a permanent injury.

Working with Your Treatment Team

As you go through your personal injury lawsuit, it is essential that you provide the same information to the independent medical examiner that you have to your treatment team. Don't try to make your injuries sound worse. Simply state your symptoms and what you have done so far to find relief from your injuries. When there are big differences between what you report to your treatment team and what is reported to the independent consultant, it will be difficult to corroborate your accounts of the extent of your injuries.

When you go to an independent medical exam, don't be afraid that you are going to say something wrong. The examiner is just another doctor who is trying to figure out the nature and extent of your injuries from the accident that occurred. Work with the examiner and answer all questions as honestly as you can. If you don't know the answer, be clear that you aren't sure. Your case will be stronger when you are able to get your treatment and prognosis validated by an outside resource.

For more information about the importance and process of independent medical exams, talk to a professional at the Medical Legal Consultants of Indiana.

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