How to Handle a Defense Medical Examination
A defense medical examination is intended to reveal weaknesses in your case and reduce its value in settlement or in court. Your New Jersey accident attorney can help you prepare for this examination in order to minimize its negative effects. The defense medical doctors often do not actually treat patients. Instead they are hired by insurance companies and almost always write reports minimizing or trivializing your injuries. They are hired to convince juries that they should award little or nothing in the case. They often say essentially the same thing in every case, regardless of the severity of the impact. Their goal is to please those who hire them, not to see to it justice is done.
Respond to the Questions Accurately, Truthfully and Politely
The defense doctor will, in most cases, begin with either written or oral questions. If he or she requests you to write about your condition, there may be insufficient space for you to fully complete the answer. If that occurs, write exactly that on the form, i.e. “not enough space.”
One of the most important issues that your New Jersey accident attorney will emphasize is to answer all questions accurately and truthfully. Do not exaggerate or make something up. The defense doctor will very quickly realize this.
While it is best to be polite, there is nothing wrong with asking for a question to be repeated or clarified. You cannot answer the question asked if you do not understand it.
Remember, however, the defense doctor is working for the other side, not for you. For this reason, it is best to answer only the question asked and avoid adding other details. If your New Jersey accident attorney feels the need to have further details on the record, he will ask you later in the proceeding.
Finally, do not be surprised if questions are asked about prior conditions or past injuries. The defense can go back years into your past, perhaps even to your childhood, to obtain medical information.
Talk About Your Pain in Specific Terms of What You Can and Cannot Do
It is important to be detailed when you are asked to describe your pain. Although this likely was asked of you earlier on forms you filled out, it will come up again. As pain is subjective and often difficult to quantify, it is best to express in detail what activities cause you to experience pain, exactly where it hurts and most importantly how the pain prevents you form doing specific things.
Some people feel as if they are complaining if they describe their pain in such detail, but the detail is important. Do not be modest, but then again do not exaggerate.
A New Jersey accident attorney understands how to prepare you for the defense medical examination for the most positive result in your case. Clark Law Firm, PC attorneys may be contacted at (877) 288-9247.