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What Are Your Rights During An Insurance Company Medical Examination?

My name is Michael Pyrros. I am a New York Workers’ Compensation Attorney. And today I would like to discuss with you what your rights are when you attend an insurance company medical examination. Most of my clients are very confused about these letters. They almost feel threatened when they see an insurance company doctor. I’m pleased to report to you, that my office was recently successful in having an insurance company medical exam thrown out, and a doctor stopped performing these examinations because at my suggestion my client videotaped an examination, and this examination had no bearing whatsoever, to the report that was generated. You can look up this article, it was printed in the New York Times. 

But getting back to your concerns and your questions. You have now been injured and you’re out of work and now you received a notice to see an insurance company doctor. This letter has tons of information on it. It’s asking you to bring records, you’re confused, and you don’t know what to do. 

And even more confusing, these examinations are called Independent Medical Exams (IME). This leads one to believe that these doctors have no connection to an insurance company, yet they are being directed by some outside authority to have you examined, don’t be confused. These examinations are being held on behalf of insurance companies. These doctors are paid for, and the reports are generated for the benefit of an insurance company. This is their sole reason.  The notice that you might receive in the mail is generally called an IME-5 Form. This form will contain the name and address of a doctor, as well as a telephone number. It will also indicate the time of the examination, as well as the place. 

What’s most confusing to many of my clients is that the middle of this form indicates whether or not the doctor intends to video or audiotape this examination. Whether or not the doctor intends to do so has no bearing on your right to video or audiotape the exam and it has no bearing as to whether or not you want to do so. It is your right under the law. 

Most recently, it had come to my attention, that one of these companies was sending out a letter to one of my clients indicating, that they had to notify them at least seven days in advance if they were going to audio or videotape an exam. This is not in the law. It is your right to do so. You do not have to give advance notice. 

When my clients routinely ask me, what happens if I show up at the doctor’s office, tell them that I want to videotape the exam, and they say it’s not allowed. I  tell my clients to politely tell the doctor’s office, thank you, but I refused to be examined unless I could tape it. It is your right under the law if the doctor says you are not allowed to do so. You’re entitled just to get up and walk out. I only ask my clients to just direct everybody to just note that you were present for the examination, so it does not affect your case adversely. 

I welcome you to call me if you have any questions or concerns regarding these examinations. We’re here to help you 24 hours a day. You can call me direct at 718-626-7730. Thank you for taking the time to listen to me. I hope to help you in the future.

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