Video: Jason Epstein discusses Independent Medical Exams (IMEs)

Transcript of video:

Hi this is Jason, and today I’m going to talk about IMEs. So what is an IME? It’s an Independent Medical Examination which is where the defense is allowed to send an injured person to a doctor of their choosing. (Check out Premier Law Group’s FREE report on Independent Medical Exams.) Here’s the interesting thing about IMEs. They’re not really independent as the name would suggest. They’re actually defense medical examinations, meaning the defense or defense attorney, in our case usually the insurance company, gets to choose the doctor that they send the injured plaintiff to. As you can imagine, there’s a financial incentive for the doctors to say that someone is not hurt or to minimize or downplay their injuries. That way they’ll get more and more business from the insurance companies.

There’s an interesting case out of New York recently, where a doctor was performing about 1,500 of these IMEs per year. Now that’s a lot of IME work. What happened was, he wasn’t taking complete histories from the injured plaintiffs in these cases, and he was oftentimes making false or misleading diagnoses. The health board of New York — that’s the body that licenses physicians in New York — said, this doctor, whose name was Dr. Robert Israel, was prohibited from doing any medical legal work with respect to future IMEs for a period of three years. Now here’s the really interesting about this. Number one, it’s fascinating that finally a health board of a state took a stance with respect to these false IMEs. But number two, the question then became, what happens to all these cases where Dr. Israel had already performed the examination and was already hired by the insurance company to perform the examination but the case was still pending? Well three recent trial court decisions said that the defense in those cases, the insurance companies, don’t get to name a new independent medical examiner. They’re stuck with Dr. Israel, who already performed the exams. That should make for very interesting cross-examination testimony when the plaintiff lawyers get to ask Dr. Israel about why he was suspended from performing more IMEs in the future.

Do you have questions about IMEs or anything else? Call us now at 206-285-1743.