Personal Injury Articles for the Injured of NJ

Attorney Dispute With Independent Medical Exam Report

Posted by Francis M. Smith on Fri, Feb 12, 2016

  By Francis M. Smith

When a victim of another's negligence brings forward a personal injury claim seeking compensation, the insurance company involved often insists on bringing in a doctor of their own choosing to perform an examination on the injured person. In theory, insurance companies do this to ensure that the diagnosis made by the patient's treating physician is correct and that any treatment the patient receives is medically indicated, so that they are not required to pay for unnecessary procedures. In practice, however, these so-called “independent” medical examinations are rarely so benign - and rarely independent. .

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Topics: Injuries, Independent Medical Exam, injury compensation, insurance company

What is a Certification of Permanent Injury?

Posted by Francis M. Smith on Wed, Dec 03, 2014

By Francis M. Smith

When you have suffered injuries in a car collision, and that collision was clearly the fault of another, you would naturally think that you have the right to sue for and recover damages resulting from

  • Your pain and suffering
  • The medical treatment you have had to go through
  • The resulting limitations on your life
  • Your changed lifestyle, and
  • The future problems you will have as a result of the collision

However, it may not be that simple. In New Jersey, auto insurance policy holders are given two options when they select their policy: a No Threshold policy, or the less-expensive "Limitation on Lawsuit” option, previously known as the "Verbal Threshold" option or the "Limited Tort" option. Most New Jersey drivers (some studies say over 90%!) have the second kind of insurance, whether because they chose it due to the reduced cost, or because it was the default option. Unfortunately, this type of policy significantly restricts the circumstances under which you can pursue compensation in court. If you have chosen the "Limitation on Lawsuit" option, you must fall in one of the six injury categories list in the New Jersey statute.

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Topics: Car Accidents, Independent Medical Exam, Trial Procedures

Accidents Cause Injuries: Torn Ligaments of the Knee

Posted by Francis M. Smith on Wed, Jul 23, 2014

By Francis M. Smith

In many people's minds, the idea of suffering a sprain conjures up images of ice packs, compression bandages, and over-the-counter pain relievers – in other words, a relatively minor injury that is more inconvenience than crisis. That's certainly how an insurance company will try to portray your injury if you sustain torn ligaments in a car crash, slip and fall injury, or other preventable accident caused by someone else's reckless or negligent behavior. Unfortunately, the reality isn't quite as gentle as the insurance company's lawyers would have a jury believe. Torn ligaments in the knee can result in serious mobility issues that may permanently impact your ability to engage in activities and tasks that had been part of your normal lifestyle before your accident.

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Topics: Knee Injury, Joint Injuries, Independent Medical Exam

Independent Medical Exams - Delay, Deny, or Defend Injury Claims

Posted by Francis M. Smith on Fri, Jan 24, 2014

By Francis M. Smith

If you’ve suffered a personal injury, you may think, “I’ll be OK. I have good insurance.” That’s not necessarily true, even if you made good choices and bought all the right coverage.

Recent stunning revelations about how insurance companies function, are making people rethink the fairness of insurance. You’re paying for insurance! What does your insurance company do for you when you need them?

Insurance companies are not in business to protect you. They are in business to make money. They make money by taking your premiums and (as often as possible) not paying your claim. They use complex processes when you submit a claim that have a threefold philosophy: delay, deny, and defend. The Insurance Company Medical Examination is a common way to avoid paying a claim. The insurance company will call this an "independent medical examination" - but it is anything but that.

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Topics: Automobile Insurance, Independent Medical Exam, Evidence

Who Really Benefits from the Insurance Company Medical Exam? Hint: It’s Not You!

Posted by Francis M. Smith on Mon, Aug 19, 2013

By Francis M. Smith

In a personal injury case (as well as a worker's compensation case), it is common practice for the insurance company to send the injured claimant to a third party doctor to evaluate the extent of the injuries sustained, to determine:

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Topics: Injuries, New Jersey Personal Injury Attorney, Medical-Legal Exams, Independent Medical Exam, Evidence

Insurance Doctor Caught Lying in Medical-Legal Consultation

Posted by Francis M. Smith on Wed, Aug 14, 2013

By Francis M. Smith

A very old proverb states, "He who pays the piper calls the tune." Quite simply, it means that if you're paying for a service, you have the power to dictate how that service is performed. In many situations, this is a perfectly legitimate reflection of the way business should work – but sometimes it can serve to highlight damaging conflicts of interest. One New York judge has determined that the latter is the case for one insurance doctor who performs medical-legal exams for insurance companies, and his decision may be the first step in holding these physicians accountable for the biased and perfunctory attention that plaintiffs examined by them too often receive.

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Topics: Medical-Legal Exams, Independent Medical Exam, Evidence

Insurance Company & Defense Medical Exams: Anything But “Independent”

Posted by Francis M. Smith on Fri, Aug 09, 2013

By Francis M. Smith

When you are pursuing a personal injury suit or other legal claim regarding a disability or injury that you sustained, it is likely that you will be asked by the insurance company to submit to an independent medical examination, or IME, to determine the extent of your injuries. When you hear the words, "independent medical exam," what most likely comes to mind is a thorough examination by a physician or specialist who has no interest in the case and no connection with either the plaintiff or the defendant, and whose sole concern or motivation is to truthfully and accurately establish the medical condition of the patient. That is, unfortunately, an almost absurdly naïve description of medical-legal exams.

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Topics: Injuries, New Jersey Personal Injury Attorney, Medical-Legal Exams, Independent Medical Exam, Evidence

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