While the defense medical exam process is second nature to defense attorneys, it is most often an inaugural experience for the client. This is important because if a plaintiff is not adequately prepared for a DME, they could do or say something that could cause irreparable harm to their case. Here are the dos and don’ts for clients in a defense medical exam:
Do Be on Time
A rescheduled DME will cost money to reschedule, but more importantly, it can cost precious time in the statute of limitations for the case. Not to mention the potential of lost evidence.
Answering questions honestly is essential, but only answering the question asked is just as important.
Do Bring a Translator
Even if your client feels confident in understanding and answering questions in English, a translator may still be not only helpful but necessary to their case.
Don’t Forget That the Doctor Is Not Independent
The defense team hires doctors conducting a defense medical exam. They are not there to help the plaintiff with injuries, rather they are there to confirm that they did suffer an injury.
Do Leave Immediately
Once the exam is completed, it is imperative that the client gets to their mode of transportation and leaves the premises as soon as possible. Examination of the plaintiff does not stop in the exam room; observations made of the client before or after the exam are admissible.
Don’t Forget to Be Detailed
Defense medical exams are often audio recorded, which means verbally describing the injury is key.
Do Consider Everyone a Witness
Many female plaintiffs prefer to have an approved chaperone in their exam. While this is acceptable, it is essential to remember that each person in the exam room of the DME can be called a witness in the case.
Don’t Forget to Schedule a Nutris Legal Nurse Consultant
Nutris Consulting’s legal nurse consultants provide support services for our clients by creating peace of mind during defense medical exams and saving our clients valuable time. When our legal nurse consultants are scheduled to attend a client’s DME, they begin the necessary process of protecting the patient’s case with experience and advocacy. At the same time, the attorney can attend to other matters, creating ultimate efficiency for each subject. Our nurses take great care to educate clients on the DME process to ensure a smooth exam and provide a comprehensive and professional summary of the exam.