During the course of treatment for a work or personal injury, sometimes, a claims representative may decide to request a second opinion from another physician. This is where an independent medical evaluation (IME) comes in. An independent medical evaluation is conducted when an injured party requires third-party opinion and documentation, to determine the cause, extent and medical treatment of an automobile related accident or other type of injury where liability is an issue.

An IME can be requested by different parties, including insurance companies, lawyers, benefit providers, employers or HR managers. An objective, independent medical evaluation report is provided after the examination is done to confirm or deny any benefits or settlements to the claimant. 

An independent medical evaluation is used to resolve complex questions related to your medical condition. Usually, it’s conducted at the behest of an insurance company or employer to get an independent opinion of an individual’s clinical status. 

When is an IME requested?

  • If an employer or insurance company disagrees with a decision by your treating doctor about your course of treatment
  • If there’s a dispute about the cause or extent of your injuries in a personal injury case
  • If there’s a dispute about the extent of a permanent injury-related disability
  • If the hearing officer who’s assigned to your case or judge orders an IME to help resolve any disputed issues related to your case
  • In some states, you have the right to request an IME examination in case you disagree with the opinion about your medical condition or permanent disability by your treating doctor