The Defense Medical Examination In British Columbia
Whenever a personal injury lawyer for the plaintiff in a personal injury case uses the term defense medical examination, that member of the legal profession is referring to what insurance companies call an independent medical exam (IME). Plaintiffs’ lawyers use that alternate term, because the insurance companies hope to obtain information that can cast doubt on the severity of the plaintiff’s injuries. The Insurance Corporation British Columbia behaves like every other insurance company. During the IME, it seeks to minimize the extent of the plaintiff’s injuries.
Tricks that ICBC’s doctors can use, in order to minimize the injuries suffered by the examined patient
Those doctors can direct their attention to parts of the patient’s body that do not relate to the issue/injury in dispute. The examining physician can perform a very generalized examination. In that way, the same physician would fail to carry-out those tests that could show the loss of function in the injured, but unexamined body part. That series of events might take place if the plaintiff/patient had suffered a traumatic brain injury.
In that case, a proper examination would be one that included neurological tests. For instance, a doctor should look at the nerves in the back of each of the patient’s eyes. The doctor should also check the strength of the patient’s grip. Of course, such tests would not get included in a generalized examination.
A final trick that the examining doctor might use would involve talking to the examined patient. He or she might be asked to recall the details that were included in the same patient’s medical history. Injury Lawyer in Vancouver know that plaintiffs/patients should not be expected to recall such details.
What action could ICBC take, if a claimant failed to attend a scheduled defense medical examination?
If the same claimant had initiated a lawsuit against another driver, then the claimant would risk losing his or her Part 7 benefits by not showing-up at the scheduled IME. The Part Y benefits represent the compensation for medical expenses and for the loss of income. Residents of British Columbia have a right to seek such benefits, if they become involved in a motor vehicle accident.
ICBC’s readiness to deliver such benefits depends on the extent to which the claimant has produced proof of a reported injury. The scheduled IME is supposed to serve as a means for obtaining that proof. Consequently, a refusal by a claimant with a lawsuit provides ICBC with grounds for denying to that same claimant his or her Part 7 benefits.
Of course, that action could not be taken against someone that had not chosen to initiate a lawsuit. In that case, ICBC’s options would be limited. In fact, it might lack any possible option.