What Is a Compulsory Medical Exam?

Very few car accident injury claims end up in court. More often than not, the insurance company or an at-fault party will be willing to come to a settlement agreement outside of court. This outcome is especially common when having an experienced car accident attorney handle your case.

But what if the insurance companies simply aren’t willing to participate in the settlement process? What if they are so unwilling to provide you with fair compensation that you end up in front of a judge or jury?

When the Insurance Company Doesn’t Want to Pay What You Deserve

AmbulanceA compulsory medical exam (CME) is typically ordered in cases where an insurance company or other defendant alleges a fraudulent injury claim. Do not worry, but be prepared and aware of your legal rights before the exam.

Find a trusted personal injury law firm that knows what doctors are looking for and how to maintain your rights. Even if you’ve had a physician of your own choosing diagnose and treat you, the insurance companies have the right to request an exam by a physician of their choice.

It may not seem fair, but it’s up to the court’s discretion, and it’s the law once it’s ordered. If you are worried about your car accident injury claim or want legal guidance in the wake of a medical exam request, speak to a knowledgeable Tampa car accident lawyer.

To help you understand more about what a court-ordered exam involves, let’s take a closer look at compulsory medical exams (CMEs).

How You End Up In the Doctor’s Office

The steps it takes to get you into the insurance company’s doctor of choice are fairly simple. In fact, the only thing an insurance company has to do is demand that you be seen by their physician. Florida Statute § 627.736(7)(a) allows insurers to request an IME at any point in the process.

In some cases, a defendant will instead file a motion seeking a court-ordered compulsory medical exam. It is extremely rare for a court to deny such a demand or, in some cases, motion. Under Florida state law, you are required to comply with the request.

That said, you do maintain some rights. These include the right to be seen by a physician that is reasonably accessible and the right to have your attorney present during the exam. You and your attorney can choose to video the CME. Why would you choose to have your exam videoed by your attorney? Because the CME is not in your best interest.

The doctor examining you is not of your choosing and, ultimately, has been chosen because they might benefit the interests of the opposing side. In essence, this doctor/patient relationship is somewhat of an adversarial one. This doctor isn’t just looking to diagnose you, they are also looking for signs that your original diagnosis was incorrect and that some or all of the treatments you were prescribed were unnecessary.  


Tips to Follow During Your CME

  1. Do not relay anything that you have discussed with your attorney to your CME doctor. Remember that anything you say to this medical professional could be used against you in court. You can also refuse any invasive procedures that were not discussed with you and your attorney prior to the examination.

  1. Do not be tempted to exaggerate your symptoms. Again, this is admissible in court and could harm your case. Be honest with the CME doctor about your symptoms.

  1. Do not put your signature on any piece of paper that has not been reviewed and approved by your attorney. Remember that these medical professionals are working for the opposition; they are not looking out for you. They are looking out for the insurance company they are “working” for as an independent consultant.

  1. Do ask the CME physician what will happen during your exam. In other words, you want to know about the scope of the exam in clear terms. Your attorney may object to some of the tests or procedures the CME doctor wants to perform. Give your attorney a chance to do this before you submit to anything.

  1. Be sure that you and your attorney receive a copy of the report filed by the physician performing the CME. You will both want to know the doctor’s position on your injuries and prescribed treatments.

  1. If at any point the doctor performing the CME interferes with the videotaping, stop the exam and contact your attorney. On the same token, if the doctor makes any handwritten notes, let your attorney know. You may have a right to see these notes since they are pertinent to discovery and documentation for your case.

  1. Make an appointment with your own doctor on the day of the CME. You will want an examination by your own medical provider after you have been examined by the physician working for the insurance company. This allows you to have an objective record on the same date, potentially providing counter-evidence to any adversarial conclusions drawn by the CME.

Get a Tampa Car Accident Attorney You Can Trust from Steinger, Greene & Feiner

At Steinger, Greene & Feiner, we have been representing victims of car accidents for years. We know the tactics insurance companies use and what it takes to win your case in court. If you have been involved in a Tampa car accident, you need an attorney you can trust who will fight tirelessly by your side. That’s us.

Reach out to our office today to schedule your free, no-obligation consultation. We do not believe that expert legal advice should cost you a dime until we can recover money for your losses. Call (800) 560-5059 today or contact us using our convenient online form.

We will get back to you as soon as possible to answer the questions you have and to schedule your free, no-obligation case review.

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About The Author

Michael Steinger

Michael Steinger

The Florida BarFlorida Bar Young Lawyers DivisionMillion Dollar Advocates ForumMillion Dollar Advocates ForumBest Workers Compensation Attorneys in MiamiBest Car Accident Lawyers in MiamiLawyers of distinction

MICHAEL S. STEINGER, founding partner of Steinger, Greene & Feiner, believes in representing real people, not big businesses. Since the firm’s creation in 1997, Steinger, Greene & Feiner has never represented an insurance company or large corporation, and he vows to keep this promise. Over the course of his career, Michael has handled thousands of Florida accident cases, recovering millions of dollars for his clients and earning him membership into the Multi-Million Dollar Advocates Forum. Staying up-to-date on the ever-evolving laws protecting injury victims and their families, Michael is an active member of the American Bar Association, the Palm Beach, and St. Lucie Bar Associations, and sits on the Auto Insurance Committee of the Florida Justice Association.