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Can insurance co. make you travel an hour for IME?
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About 2 years ago I was riding my bicycle and got run over by a woman who went through a stop sign. I've had several operations and been through general hell, as well as being out of work for over 2 years. I'm on SSI and foodstamps.
My lawyer told me I had to attend an IME. No problem. Then I found out the IME was about an hour away, at least 30 plus miles. I'm from the country. The IME is in a city right on the Hudson across from NYC. I not only would be uncomfortable driving there, I simply can't afford it. I don't even OWN a car. If I borrowed one I simply do NOT have the money to pay for the gas to get there or to park it. I was told I would be reimbursed, however at a rate the other insurance company decides is adequate and at a time of their choosing, maybe 45 to 60 days after the fact. All of which is very nice (LOL), but I still don't have the money to get there in order to be "reimbursed" anyway. The money fairy hasn't been visiting lately. I am pretty much borrowed out - it's been 2 years. Hell, I owe everybody.
I thought they could not force you to travel so far for an IME. I don't know what the actual rules are. Anybody know anything about this? My understanding was they had to find you a doctor within 15 minutes of where you live. Does anyone have the answer to this, how far can they make you go?
Posted on 12/02/11, 05:36 am
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Reply #1 - 01/22/12  5:47am
" Hello there, and so sorry about your accident. I do wish you peace and relief. It is troubling indeed all the hoops ins. companies want one to jump through. I don't know to much about this, but I, too, have SSI. A few thoughts come to mind, strictly as someone who has "been there, done that" with an 'incident'. Are you suing the woman who hit you? It is her insurance co that wants you to have this test, or yours? This may make a difference. They can't "make" you do anything; but it could effect the outcome if you are indeed suing the woman and/or her insurance co., as I believe they have the right to request you see a doctor of their choice. That being the case, I believe there are guidelines (if not actual 'laws' or rules) that they have to be reasonable and therefor can't send you hither and yon.... You could try calling the insurance co. and tell them you simply can't get there, and see if they can either arrange for transport upfront, or find a doctor closer to you. All they can do is say no, and if you are polite, pleasant and straightforward and not accusatory they just may be understanding. This was so in my case. My experience is that doing something is less traumatic that it seems, and so I wouldn't be intimidated by the insurance co., and calling them is better than going over in your mind how you can't get there. I hope all goes well for you, and my heart goes out to you. "
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Reply #2 - 01/31/12  10:03am
" Is your lawyer aware of your situation? If a lawyer is confident of a favourable outcome they will often front the money needed to assist the client.

My lawyer offered to pay my lost wages (to be paid back after settlement). Fortunately I had insurance through work that covered me (although they too expect to be paid back...). "
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Reply #3 - 05/10/12  12:51am
" my car insurance company had me all over the map for this test and that. I have been battling them for nearly 10 years! "

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