If your loved one is suing a nursing home for neglect or abuse, the home will most likely attempt to defend itself. The nursing home will do this by hiring a lawyer. It will attempt to gather evidence to prove that your loved one was not neglected or abused in the nursing home. One way that they might refute injury is through an independent medical examination. The defendant will try to use this exam to claim that your loved one did not sustain injuries. Or they’ll say that injuries sustained were not caused by the defendant. Don’t let yourself or your loved one become frightened or worried about this exam. Facts don’t lie. The independent medical examination can actually support your loved one’s claims in the end. Here are some tips to help you and your loved one understand and prepare for this medical exam.
Independent Medical Exam
When a person makes an injury claim, the defense may request an independent medical exam. Your loved one’s lawyer and insurance company should set up this medical exam. There is no reason to object to this exam. It will show the abuse that your loved one claims to have experienced. During and after this exam, you can take certain actions to protect your loved one. This happens in the event that some of the claims are inaccurate or harm your loved one’s case.
Insurance companies hire doctors to conduct independent medical examinations. Doctors want to please their employer. In this case, the insurance company is the employer. So the doctor conducting such an exam might try to minimize your loved one’s injuries. This is not always the case, but it could happen. If this happens to your loved one, he or she needs to know how to act during the exam and after the exam.
Before the Exam
- Consult with your lawyer. Your loved one should inform their attorney about the medical exam. The lawyer can put you and your loved one’s concerns to rest. The lawyer can answer questions and walk you through what will happen.
- Prepare your loved one for the exam. Prepare for the medical exam by discussing commonly asked questions. You can also discuss how your loved one should answer. Preparing for the exam will help your loved one feel more confident in what will happen.
- Have your own medical examination done. As soon as possible, you should schedule your own medical exam. This will confirm their injuries. This exam can be used as evidence to refute finding in the independent medical exam.
During the Exam
- Attend the exam with your loved one. Having someone there for support can keep your loved one calm and prepared for the exam. Just knowing that you will be there no matter what can make this exam much less stressful for your loved one.
- Make a good impression. You and your loved one should arrive at the doctor’s office in a timely manner. Leaving early is always a good idea so that you can account for traffic and parking issues. Having a few extra minutes in the office will also give your loved one some time to prepare for the exam.
- Encourage your loved one to be honest. Your loved one should be as honest and open as possible about their injuries. Trying to exaggerate injuries will only hurt your loved one in this situation. So make sure that they can accurately answer questions regarding their injuries.
After the Exam
- Get a copy of the report. Make sure that you have a copy of the report for your records. You can go over the report with your loved one’s lawyer and any insurance adjusters involved in the case. If there are any issue with the report, you can catch them right away and begin to refute them.
- Explain any issues with the report. If you feel that the report was too brief or in any way unfair, be sure to talk to the adjuster and the lawyer about these issues. Use the report from your loved one’s exam with their primary doctor to show discrepancies that should be considered when evaluating the importance of the independent medical exam.