"Independent" Medical Exams Are Defense Medical Exams: Plaintiffs Beware!
"If you did a truly pure report you’d be out on your ears and the insurers wouldn’t pay for it. You have to give them what they want, or you’re in Florida. That’s the game, baby.” Would you ever, in your wildest imagination, expect those words to be uttered by a medical doctor? Welcome to the real world of litigation in America. You have heard cries for "tort reform". You have heard that trial lawyers are evil and that lawsuits are the causes of all kinds of ailments in our country. But the quote above speaks volumes about the tort system and how seriously injured people are mistreated by insurance companies and doctors across the country. Their crime? For having the audacity to get hurt in a setting where an insurance company is responsible for their compensation. Whether your case involves a work injury, auto injury, medical mistake, product defect or any other kind of personal injury, once the insurance company is on notice of the claim, the race is on to get you "independently" examined by a doctor, one or their doctors, one who is compensated for performing numerous similar exams, one who makes a six and sometimes seven figure income doing so. In the Detroit area, we call tort reform "tort deform" and we call an "independent medical exam" what it really is: a "defense medical exam".
Query: If you are the doctor and these exams are your golden eggs, are you going to kill the golden goose who laid them at your office steps by making honest calls in conducting these exams? In "A World of Hurt: Exams of Injured Worker Fuel Mutual Mistrust", New York Times writer, N.R. Kleinfield, exposes a well known fact in legal circles: The medical reports of these hired guns to their employers, following these examinations, whether there are positive findings or not, are "routinely tilted to benefit insurers by minimizing or dismissing injuries".
This is a serious problem for the injured or disabled because the examiner, usually retired from active practice, still has the medical credentials to impress a judge or a jury. When there are conflicting medical opinions, there are conflicts in the medical evidence presented to the trier of fact. These conflicts can lead to contentious litigation which can often take years. The injured plaintiff must go through multiple exams and contest the litigation for months, often years, until he or she finally gives up or settle for pennies on the dollar. If the case is brought to trial, the trial of fact is presented with conflicting viewpoints of the injury and its severity, and is forced to choose between one or the other. Is this justice for the injured or disabled?
While there are certainly examples of people who suffered mild injury or no injury and received treatment or over-treatment by an unscrupulous doctor, I invite you to read this important article and judge the cases and examples cited for yourselves.
Lawsuit Financial will continue to do its part in the fight for justice. If you have been injured in an auto accident, construction accident, by a medical mistake, a defective product or the neighbor's dog, you are probably pursuing litigation and experiencing the kind of anti-justice tactics that the article references. You are probably involved in contentious litigation, with little or no money coming in. You are probably considering an early and quick settlement that will, likely, cost you thousand, even ten of thousands of dollars. Don't settle you case for peanuts at the point of a financial gun. Lawsuit Financial provides legal funding, a non-recourse cash advance contingent upon the outcome of your litigation. If you win your case, you pay us back out of your winnings; if you lose the case, you keep our money, free of charge with no repayment obligation and no strings attached. Hopefully, you will use the money to fill a serious need like house or rent payments, car payments, groceries and other necessities. Lawsuit funding provides you with the time you need to get the money you deserve from your lawsuit. Hopefully, a well placed legal cash advance can lessen the impact of the kind of tactics used by the companies and doctors discussed in this important article. And, the next time you have a chance, hug a trial lawyer and thank him or her for championing the cause of justice in America.