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Can the Insurance Company Make Me Submit to a Physical Examination in My Car Accident Case?

Torem & Associates

When you are involved in a car accident caused by another driver, you have the right to file a personal injury claim seeking compensation for your damages. Regardless of the severity of your injuries, most people involved in a traffic accident suffer some level of damages, including property damages, medical bills, and lost wages. Therefore, it is wise to consult with a Stockton car accident attorney to discuss your legal option for filing a car accident claim.

To recover compensation for your injuries and damages, you must “prove” that you were injured and suffered damages. In most cases, your attorney uses a variety of evidence to prove that the other driver caused the crash, you were physically injured, and you suffered damages. However, the defense may request a defense medical examination (DME) even though you have medical records substantiating your injuries. In most cases, you must submit to the DME if you expect to recover any money for your claim.

What is a Defense Medical Examination?

A defense medical examination (DME) is a physical examination by a licensed physician. It is a medical exam performed by a doctor chosen by the defense team or the insurance company for the at-fault driver. While you may not want to submit to another exam, especially if you have already endured surgery, physical therapy, and painful recovery, California personal injury laws allow DMEs when an accident victim is seeking compensation for injuries allegedly caused by another driver.

However, the defense cannot send you anywhere or require whatever type of examination it desires to try to intimate, embarrass, or unnecessarily place you in addition pain. The DME must be reasonable. In most cases, the defense cannot require you to submit to medical procedures that have a substantial risk of adverse consequences or invasive procedures. In addition, the DME must be convenient. The defense cannot require you to travel hours away from your home to see its physician.

DMEs are used for several reasons. For example, if an accident victim is claiming substantial impairment because of a soft tissue injury, the defense may request a DME to verify the extent of the injury and the impairment. Another example would be in the case of an accident victim who suffered traumatic injuries and the damages in the case may be hundreds of thousands of dollars or more. The defense may request the DME so that its doctor can argue the injury is not as traumatic as your doctor claims.

Hire a Stockton Car Accident Attorney Today

The Stockton accident lawyers of Torem & Associates understand that you may be unsure how to proceed regarding your car accident claim. Our team of legal professionals can take the stress of dealing with an insurance adjuster off your shoulders. We also guide you through each step of the claims process to help you feel at ease, even if you must submit to a defense medical examination.

For a free consultation with one of our lawyers, call (888) 500-5000. Our Stockton office is located at 4557 Quail Lakes Drive, Stockton, CA 95207.

It does not cost you anything to get the legal advice you need to protect your right to full compensation of all damages.


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