Often, while adjudicating or managing a short term or long term disability claim, insurance companies send people to a so called Independent Medical Examination (IME). In many cases these examinations are not felt to be independent. The stated purpose of the assessment is to provide the disability insurer with an opinion about whether a claimant can work and what treatment they should be undergoing.
The IME may begin with the completion of consent forms and a questionnaire. This will be followed by a physical exam or psychological testing. No doctor and patient relationship is created and all information obtained will be shared with the disability insurance company. A report will be sent to the insurer.
The fact is the disability insurer who is requesting the IME will be paying the doctor for their report. There is an overall feeling that the doctors who do the IME are expected to provide a favourable report to the insurer. To be fair, insurance companies would likely argue that plaintiff assessment reports will contain bias as well.
Most long term disability insurance policies contain clauses that penalize a claimant who refuses to attend an IME. This may mean that the benefits could be suspended or terminated. Likewise, disability benefits may be denied or stopped due to the opinion of the doctor who prepared the report.
At Kotak Personal Injury Law we have successfully represented many people who have had their short or long term disability benefits denied or terminated as a result of an insurance company Independent Medical Examination. We carefully marshal evidence in support of your case and obtain necessary reports and opinions from your treating doctors and other experts. We move cases quickly towards resolution and understand that being deprived of rightful disability benefits is devastating.
Our disability insurance lawyers have been successful in suing disability insurance companies and securing significant lump sum settlements for our clients who suffer from illnesses such as chronic pain, chronic fatigue, depression, anxiety, panic attacks, fibromyalgia, colitis, IBS, cancer, crohns, heart disease, arthritis, migraines, or even stress alone.