Know your rights when it comes to medical exams performed by a defendant’s doctor. 

What Is a Defense Medical Exam?

If you have been hurt in a car accident or any other type of accident, you may be uncertain about what to expect during the lawsuit process.  Knowing the basics of what will happen can help you to feel more in control, and be better able to navigate the system.  This post will talk about one important aspect of the personal injury lawsuit process: the defense medical exam.

What is A Defense Medical Exam?

A defendant in a personal injury case (the person accused of causing another person’s injuries) has the right to have a plaintiff (the person who was injured) examined by a doctor of their own choosing.  There are only two conditions for the examination — that it not include any test or procedure that is painful, prolonged, or intrusive and that it is done within 75 miles of the plaintiff’s residence.

These types of exams are most common whenever a plaintiff has an injury that is ongoing or requires continuing treatment.  A defendant will select a type of doctor that is of the same type as the one the plaintiff is currently seeing, such as an orthopedic surgeon or neurologist.  A defendant could even ask the court to require the plaintiff to be examined by multiple different medical professionals if the injuries are complex.

 What You Should Know About Defense Medical Examinations

 Defense medical exams are not independent; they are designed to help the defendant prove that your injuries are less severe than what you have claimed.  The doctor has been hired by the defense (usually an insurance company), and will typically testify on behalf of the defendant if the case goes to trial.

Most personal injury attorneys recommend having your lawyer or another representative with you during the exam.  This can help protect you against unscrupulous tactics designed to minimize your right to compensation.

While at the examination, it is important to know that you do not have to fill out any paperwork or answer any questions.  Your attorney will advise you about whether or not you should provide a brief history to the doctor or simply permit a physical examination.  Throughout the examination, keep in mind that the doctor works for the defendant and will be trying to gather information to undermine your case.  Answer questions honestly, but do not offer information or forget that this doctor is not on your side. Don’t exaggerate, fake pain, or do anything else that will lead the doctor to conclude that you are not really injured.  The examining doctor will usually also review your other medical records related to the injury, and will then write a report based on the examination of your records.

If you have been injured in a bike, pedestrian, car, truck, motorcycle, bus, or any other type of accident, the Law Office of Larry H. Parker is here to help. We offer free initial consultations and highly skilled representation of victims of accidents throughout California and Arizona.  Contact our office today at 800-333-0000 or to learn how we can help you!