As experienced automobile accident attorneys in Arizona, many times we see that negotiations with an unrepresented party start out with an insurance adjuster as very friendly and, later, it becomes clear that the negotiations are going nowhere. When it is time for the insurance company to actually pay out a fair settlement, the insurance company begins to deny fair compensation to those who have been injured in an automobile accident in Arizona.
Many times to avoid payment, the insurance company will require the injured individual to see their own doctor. The insurance company calls these examinations “independent medical examinations.” In truth, these examinations arranged by the insurance company are with doctors that they hire over and over again. Recently in a New York Times article, it was reported what all skilled injury attorneys in Tucson and Phoenix already know – these independent medical examinations are nothing more than a sham. While there should be a quest for the insurance company to find the truth about the injuries, they turn out many times to be an examination where the doctor is paid to say things that will lead to the denial of compensation for the injured individual. Many injured people think that they have to go to these examinations when a lawsuit has not been filed. This is not necessarily the case and an injured party should have an experienced attorney on their side.
This does not mean that every doctor who performs such an examination is a doctor who lies. It also does not mean that every doctor cannot be trusted. What it does mean is that injured victims need to understand that when they go to a doctor arranged by the insurance company, it is definitely time to consult an attorney prior to the examination. Also, these injured individuals should understand the process of the “independent medical examination.” As an attorney who represents only plaintiffs, we call these examinations, “Defendant Medical Examinations.” In fact, many times the insurance company is requiring a visit to their doctor before there has even been a lawsuit filed, something that is often not even required under Arizona injury law.
Remember when you are a victim being sent to a doctor by the insurance company, you must realize that this doctor is not usually an independent doctor. This doctor is hired by the insurance company and knows exactly what the insurance company wants to hear. So whether it is related to a car accident, work related injury, motorcycle accident, or trucking accident, or any other accident, speak to an attorney about whether or not you truly need to have the insurance company’s doctor examine you for your case.