The Defense Medical Exam. What is it?
If you or a loved one has been injured in an accident, you may be wondering what a defense medical exam is and why it is important to your personal injury claim. Allow us to explain.
Whenever you place your mental or physical impairment at issue in a claim for compensation, the defendant (the party from whom you are seeking compensation) has the legal right to require that you undergo a medical exam. The defendant also has the right to choose the doctor who will perform your examination. This exam is known as a defense medical exam, or “DME”.
Key Facts about the Defense Medical Exam
Since the defense medical exam is a necessary component of many personal injury claims, if you believe that you may have a claim for compensation, it is important to familiarize yourself with this part of the process. Here are some key facts about the DME:
It is Not an “Independent” Medical Exam
Defense lawyers and insurance companies usually refer to the defense medical exam as an “independent” medical examination. But make no mistake: There is nothing independent about it. Defense lawyers and insurers often have ongoing relationships with the doctors they choose to perform these exams.
Expect to Undergo a Defense Medical Exam if Your Case Goes to Trial
Defense medical exams do not happen in every personal injury case. If your case goes to trial, you can expect the insurance company or their lawyer to demand that you undergo an exam.
You Need to Do Your Homework
In most situations, the doctor selected to perform the DME will conduct an interview prior to the examination. Before the interview, it is critical that you review your medical records to refresh your memory about the treatment you have received for any illnesses, symptoms, and injuries involved in your claim. If you mistakenly deny any past treatment – even if it is an honest mistake – the DME doctor and defence lawyers will likely try to argue that you were being untruthful during your interview or examination.
You May Be Under Surveillance
Insurance companies will often place personal injury plaintiffs under video surveillance the day before, the day of, and the day after their defense medical exam. They do this to try to record inconsistencies between the plaintiff’s actual activities and what he or she tells the DME physician. Keep this in mind and be sure not to exceed your limits while you are on candid camera.
You Should Never Volunteer Information
During your defense medical examination, you should only answer the questions the doctor asks. Any additional information you offer will only help the defendant, so never volunteer more than you are asked to give.
Crash Course: The Consumer’s Guide to Car Accident Claims in Nova Scotia
For more information about what to expect during your defense medical exam and what you can do to prepare for your DME, contact us for your free copy of Crash Course: The Consumer’s Guide to Car Accident Claims in Nova Scotia. This book is a valuable resource that contains everything you need to know if you or a loved one has been injured in a collision.
Speak with a Nova Scotia Car Accident Lawyer at McKiggan Hebert Lawyers Today
When you contact us for your free copy of Crash Course: The Consumer’s Guide to Car Accident Claims in Nova Scotia, you can also schedule a free, no-obligation consultation with one of our experienced personal injury lawyers. To speak with a lawyer at our offices in Halifax, please call (902) 423-2050 or send us an email today.