While attending a DME is routine for a plaintiff’s attorney, the majority of clients will not have any experience with this type of exam. That may seem like a ridiculous statement, however, failing to adequately prepare a client for what to expect during a defense medical exam can significantly damage their case. Here are several areas that should be addressed with clients prior to a DME:
The Parties Are NOT Independent
When a patient normally sees their doctor, they know that what they tell the doctor is protected. This is obviously not the case for a DME and the client needs to be informed of this. Clients should be informed that while this person is a doctor, they won’t be examining them in an effort to help them with medication or treatment.
When describing an ailment, most people are prone to expand on their condition. As part of sharing that the doctor conducting their exam is not their physician, patients should be reminded to only answer the question asked of them, rather than continuing to detail their answer.
Being Late is Not OK
A crucial step in planning for a defense medical exam is securing transportation and analyzing travel time. Because a DME could be up to 70 miles away from where the patient lives, traffic can be a huge issue. Be sure that the client understands that being late – or worse, no showing – will cost them dearly. The fees associated with a canceled appointment get very steep very quickly. Further, a rescheduled DME simply means more of their time away from their life.
Focus on Verbal Answers
Many people talk with their hands, especially when demonstrating. For example, a patient may point to a section of their leg when asked where they are feeling pain as a result of an accident. Because DME’s are only audio recorded and not video recorded, this can be a hindrance later on. Instruct clients to be as verbal as possible about their injuries (not the accident that caused them!) so that the recording is a benefit to the case.
Ensure an Interpreter
When it comes to those verbal answers, do you know if your client will need an interpreter? If so, has the defense ordered one to be present? If your client is not confident that they can conduct the DME in English, an interpreter should be demanded of the defense to be present.
Nutris Nurses Can Help
Nutris Consulting’s legal nurse consultants provide support services for our clients by creating not only peace of mind during Defense Medical Exams, but also by saving our clients valuable time. When our legal nurse consultants are scheduled to attend a client’s DME, they begin the important process of protecting the patient’s case through advocacy – all while the attorney is able to attend to other matters, creating ultimate efficiency for each case. Our nurses take great care to educate clients on the DME process to ensure a smooth exam. Ready to get scheduled? Visit our contact page or call us at 661-362-8333 7 days a week.