If you have begun a personal injury lawsuit due to the injuries you have suffered as a result of someone’s negligence or carelessness, it is likely that you will require medical legal assessments to substantiate your claim for damages. Medical experts provide major pieces of evidence in serious personal injury cases.
Why Are Medical Legal Assessments Important?
The Plaintiff injured in an accident will typically take the stand and provide evidence that the accident was not their fault and that they are seriously injured as a result of the accident. The Defendant will likely say the exact opposite: that the accident was not their fault and that they dispute the injuries. Because of these competing sides, it may be difficult for a judge or jury to decide who is telling the truth. This is why the objective reports and testimony of medical experts are essential in personal injury cases.
If you are injured in a motor vehicle accident in Ontario, you likely have access to the Statutory Accident Benefits Regime (SABS). When you submit a claim for these accident benefits, it is likely you will be asked to undergo a medical assessment by a doctor or other medical practitioner to evaluate your condition and potential entitlement to the benefits.
It is also possible that your lawyer will arrange to have you seen by personally selected experts to provide them with a medical legal opinion which will form part of your case at trial.
What Is an IME and When Is It Necessary?
An IME or Independent Medical Evaluation is an exam ordered by your insurance company. In cases where you are seeking compensation from an insurance provider, failure to agree to participate in such an evaluation can render you in breach of your contract, something which can disqualify you from receiving any benefits. While this process is meant to be independent and unbiased, it is important to note that these doctors have been selected by the insurance company, which has the primary goal of paying as little money as possible to each claimant.
Overall: What Do Medical Experts Provide at Trial?
Medical experts are often doctors, hired by the Plaintiff’s or the Defendant’s lawyer to provide expert evidence or testimony supporting their respective cases. The testimony and evidence can be very persuasive in Court and may mean the difference between a successful or unsuccessful personal injury case.