What Is a Defense or Independent Medical Examination?
Whenever you put your mental or physical condition at issue in a personal injury claim, the insurance carrier or the responsible party that you have filed a lawsuit against has a right to have an “independent” physician examine you to determine the extent of your injuries.
The manner in which these supposedly “independent medical examinations” are carried out is often disputed by the injured parties (plaintiffs) and their attorneys. These are bettered referred to as a defense-oriented exam rather than an independent exam because insurance carriers tend to use the same doctors who repeatedly produce reports that do not help the plaintiff’s case.
As such, if you are not properly prepared for your defense medical examination, it can significantly impact the outcome of your claim.
The Logistics of an Independent or Defense Medical Examination
The defending party who is seeking the exam must provide you with reasonable notice of the time, place, manner, conditions and scope of the examination, and the identity of the physician doing the examination. Generally, neither you nor your attorney is allowed to object to the identity of the examiner, unless you provide a compelling reason.
The defense will need to pay for the examination and must provide you with a copy of the report within a reasonable time after the report is available.
What You Can Expect At Your Independent or Defense Medical Examination
In order to be properly and adequately prepared for the exam, you need to know what to expect at the examination. You will be expected to address the following subjects in detail with the examiner:
- Your prior health and medical history, including all accidents and resulting injuries, and all visits to all health care providers for the same or any related condition
- Prior social and recreational activities
- Events on the day of your accident
- Your role and responsibility for the accident
- Detailed itemization of the injuries you suffered as a result of the accident
- A chronological medical history since the day of the accident, including treatment by each health care provider
- Prior and subsequent accidents with injuries
- Your opinion of the nature and extent of disability and impairment of each area of your body that was injured in the accident
- How your injuries have affected your daily activity
- Time lost from work, with specific dates
- Work history after the accident
- Future treatment
Call an Experienced Los Angeles Personal Injury Attorney
The legal team at the Law Offices of Samer Habbas is dedicated to helping our clients who have suffered injuries in an accident reach the best monetary settlements.
If you or a loved one has any questions about your accident claim, our experienced Los Angeles personal injury attorneys are available to personally review your case. Call us at 1-888-848-5048 to schedule a free, complimentary consultation with our legal team today.