Melissa Blevins, Demosthenes Lorandos & Marc Harding
Because of their prevalence in civil practice and workers’ compensation disputes, Independent Medical Examinations (IMEs) can be bane or blessing, depending on the quality of the IME and which side of the dispute you’re on. When properly done, IMEs provide an objective assessment of medical injuries–from diagnosis and causation to impairment rating, apportionment and treatment–and ultimately contribute to a fair adjudication of the dispute. And when poorly performed, the IME at best muddies the waters and, at worst, can produce an unjust result.
This chapter comprehensively addresses IMEs from a legal perspective, providing invaluable insight to litigators and examiners alike, with detailed guidance and discussion of the full range of potential issues, including:
Elements of a Proper IME Exam
Guidance for Conducting the Examination
Guidance for Interviewing & History Taking
Special Guidance for Subjective Complaint Assessment
Discussion of the Nature of the Physician - Patient Relationship
Discussion of Potential Conflicts of Interest and Malpractice Lawsuits
Sample Direct Examination Voir Dire to Qualify an IME
Elements of a Proper IME Report
Examiner Qualifications & Conduct
Guidance for General, Neuropsychological & Functional Assessments
Guidance for Completing the Assessment
Overview of Discovery Procedures to Compel an IME
Guidance for Preparing for and Providing Expert Testimony
Sample Cross-Examination Voir Dire to Disqualify a Proffered IME
In addition to identifying the nuts and bolts of IMEs–that is, who should perform them, how they should be conducted and what it looks like when they are done properly, improperly and completely wrong–this chapter also provides a number of case vignettes that illustrate: (1) properly performed IMEs and the means to introduce them in a tribunal; (2) problematic IMEs and guidance for limiting their effect in court; and (3) examples of IMEs that never should have been introduced.
Offering a thorough literature review of IMEs as well as citations to caselaw from jurisdictions across the United States, the Independent Medical Examination chapter is an invaluable resource for professionals facing medical injuries in an administrative or civil dispute.
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