When you are injured in a motor vehicle accident, both your own insurer and the other party’s insurer may be able to have you attend for a medical examination at a doctor of their choice.
First of all, it is important to keep straight which insurer is making this request. Ask the adjuster who is calling you whether they are from “Section B” (your own insurer) or the other party’s insurance company (“Section A”).
Here, we will talk about a kind of medical examination requested by the other party’s insurer, which is called a “Certified Medical Examination”, or CME for short.
Here are some important points to remember:
You will most likely only be told to go to a CME if you have a whiplash or soft tissue injury, and not if you have fractures or a serious brain injury.
The Section A insurer has to give you proper notice to go to a CME, and they cannot give notice until at least 90 days after the accident.
The Section A insurer cannot simply send you a letter telling you to attend. They have to send you a properly filled out form telling you which doctor they want you to see.
You have the choice to accept this doctor, or propose a different doctor. The doctor you propose can’t be your own doctor, or any doctor who has treated you for your accident injuries, but must be selected from a government list of CME doctors.
If the Section A insurer does not agree with your choice, they will notify the Superintendent of Insurance, who will make the choice as to who you will see.
Also, the Section A insurer and doctor cannot simply schedule the appointment at a time of their choosing. They must make reasonable efforts to schedule the assessment at a time that is convenient for you, and to have it within 30 days of the referral.
It is very important that you handle this correctly. If you simply don’t attend, some or all of your injuries could be deemed “minor” (under the Minor Injury Regulation).
We highly recommend that if you are told by the other party’s insurance company to go to a CME, you speak to a personal injury lawyer as soon as possible.
Article by Susan Fisher, a personal injury lawyer in Calgary, Alberta.