If you are have been injured in a car accident and are working with an ICBC lawyer, you may have been advised or required to get an independent medical examination (IME). Insurance companies and defendants have a qualified right to have injured plaintiffs attend with medical examiners in order to obtain their medical opinion regarding the plaintiff. They may discover that the plaintiff had a condition or injury that was pre-existing or not caused as a result of the accident. This evidence can permit the defence to obtain to defend against a personal injury action. In BC, the Civil Rules require primary medical reports to be served at least 84 days before a trial date.
However, there is a belief among insurance companies and defendants that they can get around this requirement by means of a 'precautionary IME'. This is a medical examination held in response to reports served by the plaintiff at 84 days.
However, it’s important to note that the courts appear to be setting a precedent against the concept of ‘precautionary IMEs’. For example, in the recent decision of Tournier v Ruckle2017 BCSC 308, the court has again said 'No' to a 'precautionary IME'. You can view the court records for this judgment here: http://www.courts.gov.bc.ca/jdb-txt/sc/17/03/2017BCSC0308.htm
Based on these recent court decisions, it is worth being aware that an IME that was ordered "just in case" may not be admissible in court. Whether you are a plaintiff or defendant in an ICBC injury claim, it is important that you are informed and get the right information from your legal team.
If you have been injured in an accident, or are defending against an injury claim, Pettit & Company’s team of lawyers specializes in ICBC and personal injury cases. We are dedicated to getting you the best possible outcome without wasting your time and money.
Contact us today to find out how we can help!