Before Pursuing Disability Benefits, Always Have an Ottawa Personal Injury Lawyer by Your Side
What’s the first thing that you do after being injured in a serious accident, whether it be in the workplace, on another’s property, while driving, or elsewhere? . You see a doctor, of course! It is important to always seek medical attention for any injuries and receive treatment. Once you do this, you should contact your Ottawa personal injury lawyer and take your case before a court or seek to file an insurance claim; the fact that there’s a record of your injuries and treatment will strengthen your case.
However, this is unlikely to be the only time that your health and condition will be under examination and scrutiny-though unfortunately, it is the only time that these examinations will be for the purpose of helping you.
The IME-Independent Medical Examination, or Insurer Medical Examination?
If you are filing a claim for long-term disability benefits from your insurance provider, then they are entitled to request an IME, or “Independent Medical Examination.” You are not required by law to attend or consent to an IME, but under the Insurance Act as well as the terms and conditions of most insurance policies, failure to attend would put you in breach of your policy. And of course, once you are in breach of your policy, the insurer is not required in any way to give you so much as a penny. And if you are unable to work following your injury or accident, this is an obvious problem.
There is another problem, however-the Independent Medical Examination is seldom as independent as it should be. The doctor is both chosen and paid for by the insurance company. In a different context, this would be deemed a “conflict of interest,” but for the time being it is still perfectly legal, and entirely problematic. While the findings may prove to be in your favour, there is a precedent for doctors performing IMEs to be found to be not entirely forthcoming or accurate in their findings. You still have to attend the IME, but you should be keeping your personal injury lawyer abreast at every step along the way. If you suspect that the examination was conducted in a biased manner or that the results are not entirely accurate, you will need the aid of your lawyer to ensure that you have a shot at fair treatment and compensation.
This is why it is absolutely necessary that, after pursuing medical treatment, your next move is to get in touch with an experience and qualified legal professional. Even if your case seems cut-and-dry, you may find yourself beset by difficulties along the way as your insurance provider tries to wiggle their way out of compensating you. A personal injury lawyer in Ottawa is your best bet to ensure that you get the representation you need to make your case and come out on top.