The tactics used by insurance carriers to combat personal injury claims are generally kept secret from the public, and for good reason. The insured may very well be faithful to their companies for many years without understanding the hidden reality of claims-handling processes until they themselves are involved in an accident and may see first-hand the adversarial nature taken against claimants. Many may believe that their insurance companies would never turn against them in any way, but such an expectation has generally lost its base in the legal world today.
The maddening “deny, delay, defend” ideology of the insurance industry is meant only to mercilessly increase its profit margins, and an “independent medical examination” (IME) is one such tactic. After an accident, an insurance company may hire and pay a third-party doctor to evaluate the claimant, even after he/she has been evaluated by other doctors; after the IME, the company-hired doctor will provide a report claiming whether the injury was caused by the accident in question, whether the victim achieved “maximum recovery” from medical treatment, or whether a permanent injury was sustained. These claims, which are often accused of bias, may then be used as tools of defense by the insurance carrier in order to deny liability, mitigate exposure in paying claims, or cease paying for a patient’s medical treatment. Personal injury attorneys generally expect insurance carriers to request IMEs when they begin receiving bills from medical providers on behalf of a claimant.
Attorneys have gradually shed light on the relationships between the physicians who perform IMEs and the insurance carriers which hire them. It may come as no surprise that these physicians earn a majority of their income from such examinations in “hired gun” scenarios. Insurance carriers often hire the same physicians in the same geographic areas, and not only for convenience: they employ specific individuals in order to generate favorable defense reports for their own financial and legal benefits.
These companies often argue that fraudulent claims are “rampant,” but dedicated personal injury attorneys know this is far from the truth. Aside from the true rarity of fraudulent personal injury claims is the unfortunate fact that car accidents occur just about everywhere on a daily basis, and real injuries are sustained even in minor collisions. The apparent severity of an accident does not always match the injuries it causes; if you have a claim to pursue, speak to a dedicated personal injury attorney today.
If you or a loved one has been injured in an accident, contact Mike Agruss Law for a free consultation. We are a Chicago-based injury law firm representing individuals (and their families) who have suffered an injury in an accident. We will handle your case quickly and advise you every step of the way, and we will not hesitate to go to trial for you.
Lastly, Mike Agruss Law is not paid attorney’s fees unless we win your case. Our no-fee promise is that simple. You have nothing to risk when you hire us – only the opportunity to seek justice.