Car accidents create messy situations for everyone involved, but nothing is worse than suffering from an injury following a wreck that someone else caused. In these cases, you can file a personal injury claim to obtain compensation for the medical bills and other expenses you’ve dealt with as a direct result of the accident. You’ll file it with the negligent driver’s insurance company, but you’ll have to hop through some hoops before they send you a check. One of those hoops is a compulsory medical examination, or CME, that the other insurance company will likely require you to schedule. Here’s three things you can expect and how to prepare.

When Is a CME Required?

When you file your personal injury claim, the insurance company wants to make sure you’re not exaggerating your injuries and trying to take advantage of their compensation. A claims adjuster sent to work with you about the accident will assign you to a physician who you must see in order to get an examination report.

Do You Have to Attend the Exam?

Yes, there’s no skipping it. As part of the claims process, you are obligated to go to an exam if the insurance company requires it. You may even have to go more than one if they deem it necessary (they will pay for the costs of it). This is because a CME is the greatest weapon an insurance agency can use in court to dispute your claims of an injury. They may call on the physician as a witness or include the physician’s report as evidence that your injuries are not as severe as you’re making them seem, and therefore you deserve less compensation.

How Should You Prepare for a CME?

The other insurance company will select the physician you’re going to see, and that physician may tone down the severity of your injuries in their report to keep the insurance agency as a reliable customer. This doesn’t bode well for you, since their faulty report will mean less money to cover your bills. Consider making an appointment with your own physician before or on the same day as the CME. That way you’ll be able to compare your physician’s report to that of the insurance’s physician to see if they are similar. Bring a friend who can act as an eyewitness to the appointment in case the doctor is biased. Request a copy of the report when you leave.

No one wants to be taken advantage of after a life-changing accident. Consider contacting a lawyer to discuss your case can be the best way to get on the right track back to your old life.