You were hurt in a car crash — and it wasn’t your fault. Given the circumstances and the severity of your injuries, you didn’t expect the other party’s insurance company to give you a hard time — until you were notified that you had to go to a compulsory medical examination (CME).
What’s happening? Well, the insurance company is doing its best to avoid taking responsibility for their client’s mistake, and you’re getting caught in the middle.
What’s a CME?
This is somewhat unique to Florida. They’re authorized by Rule 1.360 of the Florida Rules of Civil Procedure. If you refuse to have one, the insurance company may refuse to pay any more of your medical expenses, deny your claim and ask to have any personal injury lawsuit dismissed.
The insurance company doesn’t have all the power. By law, CMEs can only be requested when there is some good reason to question your condition or diagnosis. In addition:
- The request must be in writing and provide you with all of the relevant information you need to know, including the doctor’s name and qualifications.
- The insurance company is supposed to negotiate the time and date of the CME with your counsel, so that you aren’t unduly inconvenienced.
- You may not be subjected to any kind of invasive medical procedures or exams unless the court makes other instructions.
- You may have a friend, your attorney and even a videographer with you during the examination to protect your interests.
You probably can’t avoid a CME, but you shouldn’t be intimidated by one, either. You can protect your rights by carefully understanding what you should and shouldn’t say or do during the exam. Experienced legal guidance can help.