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How Can Compulsory Medical Exams Affect Your Personal Injury Case?

01/19/2022
Personal Injury
BY

In personal injury cases, the injured party will often get one or more medical examinations to evaluate injuries.  A plaintiff in a personal injury case typically relies on the plaintiff’s own treating physician or physicians hired by the plaintiff’s counsel who will help prove injuries.  In Florida, however, defendants may elect to require an injured party to submit to one or more medical examinations by physicians hired by the defendant or their counsel.  This medical examination is known as a compulsory medical examination.  

Pursuant to Florida law, the defendant’s counsel may serve the plaintiff in a personal injury case with a request for a compulsory medical examination by a doctor of their choosing.  Typically the request will:

  • State the name of the physician conducting the exam  
  • The time, place, and manner of the examination 
  • Scope of the examination  

The purpose of the compulsory medical examination is for the defendant to get a second opinion from an unbiased medical provider to examine the injured party to determine the extent of the injuries.   However, unfortunately, sometimes the compulsory medical exam provider is biased depending on who hired the physician such as the defense counsel, defendant, or the defendant’s insurance company.  Accordingly, it is essential to have your personal injury attorney involved in the process when a compulsory medical examination is ordered in your personal injury case. 

If you have questions about a compulsory medical examination requested in your personal injury case, contact an experienced Florida injury lawyer at Searcy Denney for a free legal consultation.  Our personal injury attorneys are experienced trial attorneys who approach every case with a willingness to go to trial, if necessary.  Our attorneys will fight for you until the very end.  We will advocate for the compensation you deserve for the injuries you sustained in your accident case.  We are here for you. 

How Can a Compulsory Medical Exam Affect Your Accident Case?

If you or a loved one is injured in an accident in Florida that was not your fault, the defense (and their insurance company) will do everything they can to reduce the appearance of the severity of your injuries so they can pay you as little as possible for the injuries you sustained.  One tactic used to build a case against you is requesting a compulsory medical examination.  When a compulsory medical examination is ordered by opposing counsel, your personal injury attorney must respond to that request within 30 days (unless otherwise required by the court).  It is important for your attorney to be actively involved in the process when a compulsory medical exam is ordered.  The purpose of the exam is to collect evidence against you that will weaken your case.  Unfortunately, if the court requires you to comply with the request, you must complete the exam or the defendant’s insurance company may refuse to pay your claim and could move to dismiss your lawsuit. 

After a compulsory medical exam is requested, your attorney should respond to the request and either agree to the exam as requested or object with an explanation as to what the issues with the request are.  Your attorney may also make other requests to ensure the exam is fair such as a request that it is recorded or observed by other witnesses such as other medical professionals.  Sometimes the court will schedule a hearing to hear arguments as to why the medical examination request is objectionable.  It is important to have an experienced litigator on your side to advocate for your rights to ensure the examination is fair and unbiased.  After the evaluation, your personal injury attorney should request a copy of the physician’s report so your attorney can review and evaluate the report to ensure it is fair and unbiased.  

At-fault parties often ask for a compulsory medical examination as a way to support their arguments against the injured party’s claim of the severity of injuries sustained in the accident.  The at-fault party is often seeking to find a medical provider who will indicate that the injuries sustained by the injured party are actually less severe than the injured plaintiff claims.  A compulsory medical exam in favor of the defendant may affect your personal injury case because it could have the effect of minimizing your damages, if not addressed properly by your counsel.  If you have questions about how a compulsory medical examination may affect your case, contact a Florida injury attorney at Searcy Denney for a legal consultation. Our attorneys have extensive experience dealing with compulsory medical examinations, especially those that are biased.  We are here to fight for you and protect you throughout your personal injury case. 

What does a Compulsory Medical Examination Entail?

Often the initial medical assessment of an injured party is performed by a physician the injured party chooses. However, later after a personal injury claim is filed, the defendant, the defendant’s attorney, or even the defendant’s insurance company will request a second opinion by compelling an independent medical examination with a physician of their choosing who is compensated by the defendant (or its counsel or insurance provider).  The exam is typically performed by a licensed physician who will prepare and render a report after the examination with the physician’s overall medical evaluation of the plaintiff and their injuries. The scope of the exam is typically limited to non-invasive procedures unless otherwise ordered by a court. If you have questions about what Florida law provides regarding compulsory medical examinations and the process of selecting an unbiased physician to perform the evaluation, you should speak with an experienced Florida injury attorney who can advise you on the law and ensure that your rights are protected during the medical evaluation process.

Call A Florida Injury Attorney at Searcy Denney Today for Assistance with Your Personal Injury Case

If you sustained serious injuries in an accident, you may be required to submit to a compulsory medical examination.  Our attorneys are experienced litigators and are prepared to address and refute the testimony of a physician selected by the defendant against you. If you have questions about your examination, contact a Florida injury attorney at Searcy Denney.  Call us toll-free at 800-780-8607 or contact us online to schedule a free initial consultation with a Florida injury attorney. We have offices conveniently located in TampaWest Palm Beach and Tallahassee.

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