Independent Medical Evaluation - Arrowhead Evaluation ServicesIME or Independent Medical Evaluation is an evaluation performed by a doctor that is selected by the judge or by the Insurance Company’s adjuster. It is an examination carried out by an impartial health care provider for the purpose of resolving a dispute related to an illness or injury.

  • An independent medical examination occurs when a doctor/physical therapist/chiropractor who has not previously been involved in a person’s care examines an individual.
  • There must be no previous doctor/therapist-patient relationship.

An Independent Medical Evaluation is performed to accurately evaluate injuries to an individual as part of a legal dispute. The most common case for an Independent Medical Evaluation to be ordered is a case for workers’ compensation. However, an IME may be ordered during a divorce case or other types of cases where one party’s medical condition affects the outcome of the settlement. The Independent Medical Evaluation is required to be conducted by a doctor who does not have a pre-existing relationship (doctor-patient, or otherwise) with the individual making the claim of disability. The physician evaluates the cause, extent, and medical treatment of injuries, work-related or otherwise, when a person makes a claim of disability. The results of an Independent Medical Evaluation determine the ability of the individual to return to the work force and earn income so that they don’t need as much workers’ compensation, spousal-support, or child-support. An Independent Medical Evaluation is a one-time exam that focuses on the disability claim of the individual. The main goal is to determine if the individual is injured, and if so, to what extent. Medical and family history is collected from the individual and their current symptoms are evaluated and recorded. A physical exam is performed and tests are done, depending on what the claim is. Then the physician writes up his or her findings in notes that will later become a medical-legal report that summarizes the findings of the Independent Medical Evaluation. This report is used in court to determine what amount of workers’ compensation, spousal-support, or child-support is appropriate to grant the individual in question. Although most cases of disability claims are valid, sometimes the disability in question does not affect the individual’s ability to be a part of the work force and earn income. An example: an individual claims that he or she is unable to do any heavy lifting due to a back injury. However, most back injuries do not affect an individual’s ability to work a job that requires them to simply sit a desk. An Independent Medical Evaluation would be ordered in this case to determine the extent of the injury, and if it affects the ability of the individual to work and earn wages. In certain cases, an Independent Medical Evaluation is ordered because an individual claims to have a psychological disability, such as depression or anxiety, which impairs his or her ability to work. The results of the Independent Medical Evaluation determine the psychological condition of the individual and the validity of their claim. The results also help to determine the correct amount of workers’ compensation, disability, spousal-support, or child-support the individual needs. An Independent Medical Evaluation can help clear up many medical questions and disputes that may arise in the midst of a variety of legal cases.