Florida Personal Injury Lawyers know that Injury Lawsuits often become a battle of experts. The issues which are most commonly contested are those of Causation-whether the subject accident caused the injury in question, and Permanency-whether the injury resulted in a permanent injury.
For the injured Plaintiff the testimony on the above issues is typically presented by the treating physician. In contrast, the defendant will retain and pay an expert to examine the Plaintiff and render opinions. Specifically, Florida Rule of Civil Procedure (FRCP) 1.360(a)(1)(A) allows the defendant in a personal injury case to have a qualified expert of its own choosing perform a medical examination on the plaintiff with regard to the injury or injuries in controversy. This type of examination has come to be referred to as a “compulsory medical examination,” or “CME.”
In light of the fact that the opinions and testimony of the defense hired doctor are so critical, it is imperative to discover as much information as possible about the defense doctor and to videotape the actual examination.
Florida Law allows the Plaintiff’s attorney to inquire as to the amount of money the particular doctor earns by conducting these examinations, the number of times he has examined individuals on behalf of the particular defendant and/or defendant law firm, the number of depositions given, trial testimony, etc. It is imperative to secure this information to show the doctor’s bias.
Likewise, it is also important to videotape the examination. To that end, without videotaping the examination it is difficult to challenge the doctor on his examination, and what the actual Plaintiff’s complaints were on a given day. It is not unusual for a defense doctor to testify that the Plaintiff did not have complaints on a given day, to minimize the complaints or the findings during an examination.
The video shown below is an actual video from a Compulsory Medical Examination.
The video makes it clear why it is so important to videotape these examinations.