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Tips to Protect Your Case

The importance of the compulsory medical examination (CME) cannot be overstated. We are taught from early childhood to place trust in medical professionals. This means that when your case goes to court, the jury, even if subconsciously, will be inclined to listen to what the doctor says and give it a certain amount of weight in their thinking simply because he is a doctor. This makes him one of the most dangerous weapons in the insurance company’s arsenal.

I’m saying all of this and I certainly have not spent 3 articles talking about CMEs to make you nervous or scare you. I am trying to forewarn you.
In this last piece in our series I will share some bits of advice to help you avoid making any fatal plunders during the compulsory medical examination process.

Write it Down

At the end of our last article we talked about the interview portion of the exam and the importance of not saying too much about the accident. A second part of this interview is going to be you giving your medical history. It is very important that you give as honest and complete a medical history as you can. If you don’t, the doctor will testify that you were withholding information and not being forthright. If the insurance company can find discrepancies in the information that you gave, they will try to make you look like a liar when you get to court.

A good method to use is to keep a notebook with your complete medical history written in it and take it with you to all of your doctor visits so that your facts will always line up perfectly.

Bracket Your CME

If at all possible, schedule an examination, by your treating physician, no more than a day before and again no more than a day after you go to your compulsory medical examination. No doctor, working for an insurance company, is going to risk losing their benefactor by coming to court and saying you are really injured as severely as you claim.

By having your own physician examine you before and after your CME appointment you have access to testimony and evidence (medical records) to counter their testimony from a source (your doctor) whose words will carry equal weight to theirs.

Get it All on Tape

One ploy that many insurance doctors will use is saying that they are finished with the examination and that the videographer can stop filming. Of course, as soon as the camera is off, they will remember one more test or question that needs to be covered. Don’t let them pull this. Inform the cameraman, from the beginning, that you want the entire exam taped including you climbing into your car to leave. This will preclude the doctor from using this deception.

It will be hard for them to testify that you said or did anything, after the video was turned off if the video shows you climbing into your car and leaving the office. Remember the videographer doesn’t leave until you do and you never say or do anything that is not documented on video.

I’ll say this, one more time, for the sake of emphasis. Insurance companies pay doctors millions of dollars each year to perform these examinations. In the majority of cases, the doctors are being payed a much higher rate than they could earn from actually treating patients. At the same time, they avoid all of the normal hassle of caring about their patients, filing insurance claims or having to worry about malpractice insurance. These are great incentives for them to keep the companies happy. They will do or say whatever is necessary to damage the case against their clients. That is why you must do all you can to protect yourself.