Physical Exams

After the defendant’s insurance company attorney asks you questions at your deposition, the insurance company will pay their doctors to examine you.  There are usually two exams by different doctors.

We don’t let you go alone to your physical exams!  Not only will we be with you at your exam, but we bring our own doctor with us to keep the insurance doctor honest.  Amazingly, it works and we have been getting relatively honest medical exam reports.

Many lawyers let their clients go to the insurance company exams alone.  You don’t want to go to these exams alone!

The defense doctors are paid a lot of money by the insurance company to write a report to hurt your case. This can be accomplished several ways, such as by:

  • Minimizing your injury;
  • Denying the existence of your injury;
  • Claiming that your injury existed prior to your accident; and other ways.

Read this article about defense doctors who lied about injuries and see why you want your attorney and your own independent orthopedic surgeon and neurologist watching the defense doctor at your defense exam.

If you have been treated by an orthopedic surgeon and a neurologist, you will likely be examined by both an orthopedic surgeon and a neurologist for the defense insurance company.

Upon arrival at your physical exam, the doctor’s staff will photocopy your driver’s license so they can prove who was examined and you will be asked to fill out a form with your personal information and your injuries.

A typical exam consists of the doctor asking you questions for 2-3 minutes and then examining you for 2-3 minutes for a total of 5 minutes.  Most plaintiffs are shocked to find out how short the exam is and wonder how the defense doctor can write an honest report after a 5 minute exam.  The answer is that the doctor is not paid to write an honest unbiased report.

The report is supposed to be biased but insurance doctors are well known for “extreme bias”, lying and more.  Just ask your own doctor.  I have friends who are doctors who could use some more money but they think it’s immoral to do insurance exams because they don’t want to be pressured into writing false reports.

Why would an insurance exam doctor agree to write a report either with lies or hiding the truth?  How much do you think an insurance exam doctor can earn from doing these exams?

They can earn as much as $1M to $2M per year!!!  Take a look at this transcript of a hearing held because an insurance exam doctor was caught lying at a trial.  The doctor testified the exam was 20-25 minutes when it was really 3 minutes.  The transcript shows the doctor earned $2 million dollars per year doing insurance exams!  Also watch the videos listed at the bottom of this page about doctors writing reports for State Farm.

Obviously, just as your deposition is of vital importance to your case, your physical exams are also crucial.  Most attorneys allow their clients to go to the defense physical alone!  I rarely see a lawyer at these exams.  A very few attorneys will have a paralegal or an attorney accompany their client to the physical.  We do a lot more.  We have our own doctor with us at your exam!

The reason your attorney should be with you is to make sure that you do not fill out information on the form which can be used against you to damage your case; to make sure that the doctor does not ask you questions about how your accident occurred; to make sure that the doctor does not take x-rays, blood tests or any other invasive test; and to observe the physical.

When our clients are scheduled for a physical exam, Rob Plevy, Esq. or Phil Franckel, Esq. will go with you to the exam.  We never have a paralegal go with you to the exam.  Our doctor who will be with us at your exam will provide us with a written report indicating:

  • Everything the insurance doctor did properly;
  • Everything the insurance doctor did improperly;
  • Everything the insurance doctor failed to do;
  • What the doctor said; and
  • The time spent on each part of the exam.

Bringing our doctor to your exam is not inexpensive because in addition to paying for him to be at the exam, we will have to pay when he is deposed by the defense and again to testify at trial.  However, bringing our doctor to the exam has resulted in getting the defense doctor to provide a truthful report in almost every case. It not only maximizes the value of your case but can completely destroy the defense’s case. This has frequently resulted in an offer of the entire policy and shortened the time to settlement.

The videos listed below are about “independent” medical exams to deny treatment but in a lawsuit, the insurance company for the defense is entitled to medical exams to prove your injuries don’t exist or are not related to your accident.  The videos are about reviews without an exam but in a lawsuit, you will have a physical exam.

Dateline: The Paper Chase Pt 1 of 4 State Farm used a doctor’s “paper review” (a/k/a peer review) to rule that injuries were not related to the accident and deny payment
Dateline: The Paper Chase Pt 2 of 4 How to stop paying for medical treatment
Dateline: The Paper Chase Pt 3 of 4 79 out of 79 reports favored State Farm-Listen to a State Farm Superintendent saying it’s intentional!
Dateline: The Paper Chase Pt 4 of 4 Just how much can they save?  A judge called the IME company “a completely bogus operation” and State Farm knew the reviews were not objective.