Every defendant in Tennessee is entitled to have a doctor of their choosing examine the plaintiff to make sure the plaintiff’s complaints are legitimate. These exams are not independent medical exams! These exams are Defense Medical Exams because the defense lawyer, and the defendant’s insurance company, pick the doctor who will best represent the defense interests and hurt the plaintiff’s case. Juries should be aware of the profound bias of these hand picked doctors who sell thier opinions for thousands of dollars.
If the defendants fail to even produce one of these hand picked paid opinion witnesses it really means that the defense lawyer, and the insurance company, could not get even the most biased defense doctor to contradict the treating doctors opinion about the plaintiff’s medical condition.
In cases where the defendants do want a defense medical exam, because the defendants get to choose the doctor, the plaintiff’s lawyer should always request to videotape the defense doctor’s examination so the jury, and the plaintiff’s doctor, can see what was actually done and said during the examination. This allows the jury to evaluate what really went on and how biased the doctor really is. For example defense doctors frequently fail to put down helpful facts and information told to them by the plaintiff and only list items that hurts the palintiff’s case. The only way to avoid this is by making a record of the visit. The best way to make a record is by videotaping the DME exam.
For those interested, I had a request for a defense medical exam come up in a trucking case recently. The brief I filed is attached, see: uploads/file/Brief in support of videotaping DME 5_5_08.DOC The defendants told me the doctor was going to refuse to allow to have his exam of my client videotaped! I think after reading this blog we all know why.