Physical And Mental Examination Of Person

Under the West Virginia Rules of Civil Procedure Rule 35, when a person’s mental and physical condition is in controversy, the court may order the party to submit to a physical or mental examination. The rule states that the motion may only be made on a motion for good cause.

Although the rule requires that this be made upon a motion and showing of “good cause,” practically all courts now routinely order what they term as an Independent Medical Exam, a term which is misleading. First, the exam is in no way independent. The insurance industry and the civil defense firms that represent them routinely have a list of medical doctors who offer their services and make a substantial amount of money by conducting the so-called I.M.E. or independent medical exams.

These doctors who work for insurance companies charge thousand of dollars for what they try to purport as independent exams. Is a doctor who routinely makes $50,000 to $150,000 a year doing these exams for the same insurance companies or law firms independent and fair? These doctors are hired to contradict a person’s treating doctors who make their living taking care of patients, not doing evaluations for insurance companies.