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Part 1: Things to Keep in Mind

If you are involved in a personal injury lawsuit you are going to be required to submit to a CME (compulsory medical examination). In theory, the idea behind these mandatory examinations is that all parties, including the defense should have equal opportunity to establish the facts of a case. This is standard procedure and nothing to get overly excited about. However, there are a few things that you should be aware of and keep in mind when going through this process.

The Doctor is More Than a Doctor

First, foremost and always remember that the doctor who will be examining you is, most likely, not even a practicing physician. He is, for all practical and intensive purposes, an investigator with a medical license working for the insurance company.

His job is not to diagnose your injuries and he has no interest in whether you ever recover from them. His sole purpose is to try and gather information that can be used, by his employers, to deny you what you are justly due.

Big Brother is Watching

The first thing you should keep in mind when going for your CME is that the exam starts the moment you pull into the doctor’s parking lot and is still going on until you are back on the road. In all likelihood you will be under observation and your movements recorded from the moment that you arrive until you leave. How you climb in and out of your car, walk, dress, undress and open doors will all be analyzed in an effort to show that you are not in the condition that you claim.

Appearance Matters

Next is an area you want to pay close attention to. It is an area that is easily overlooked, but has devastated many personal injury cases; the way that you dress. This has nothing to do with style or fashion. It is purely a matter of body mechanics. Remember, dress for your injury.

As examples, if you have an ankle, knee, hip or back injury, DO NOT show up for your exam wearing heels or footwear that is difficult to remove like boots. By the same token, if you have a shoulder injury, do not come in wearing a pullover shirt. Any clothing that would be difficult for you to put on take off or that will aggravate your injury will mark you as a fraud, no matter how genuine your complaint is.

You Want a Bad Day

This one may sound a little a little odd, but remember, with a compulsory medical examination, you don’t see a friendly doctor; you see an agent working for the opposition, paid to make you look bad. This means that it is in your best interest to put your worst foot forward.

By this I mean you want to be having a bad day, with your injury, when you go for your appointment. If you have activities that you are medically cleared for that will aggravate your injury, by all means perform them before your visit. The more obvious your pain and suffering are, during the CME, the better it is for your case.

This is just a few of the things that you need to keep in mind when you go for your compulsory medical examination. In our next article we will start taking a look at what you can expect as far as procedures during the CME and what the doctor is and isn’t allowed to do.