What is involved in a Compulsory Medical Examination?
A Compulsory Medical Examination is performed by a certified medical professional—never by an insurance representative or any individual lacking the appropriate medical expertise. Depending on the arrangement of the mandatory health assessment, the insurance provider might recommend a specific doctor they prefer, give you an array of doctors to pick from, or the selection of the physician might be a joint decision between the involved parties.
The ideal scenario is to select a doctor known for their impartiality, objectivity, and fairness—not someone primarily engaged by the insurance company. However, insurance companies often lean towards their preferred doctors when they can.
It’s crucial to understand the doctor’s primary intention:
To reduce or nullify your insurance claim. Therefore, you should consult your attorney in advance and conduct yourself similarly to how you’d behave when answering questions from an opposing lawyer.
Is it wise to consent to a Compulsory Medical Examination?
If you can avoid it, then do so. Insurance firms often utilize these health assessments to reject claims. If there’s a possibility to settle without undergoing this check-up, that’s usually the most favorable course of action—yet always consult your attorney first.
If you consent to the check-up, there are a handful of ways it might work against you:
- The doctor could determine you aren’t genuinely hurt or that some injuries are fabricated.
- The doctor might deem the injury less significant than you profess.
- The physician might acknowledge the injury but argue its cause is unrelated to the accident or incident you’re claiming for. For instance, they might argue it predates the incident.
- The doctor could suggest that due to neglect or a pre-existing ailment, you aggravated the injury. This insinuates you’re somewhat liable for your own harm.
- The physician might outright challenge key aspects of your personal doctor’s findings, casting a shadow on your case’s medical proof.
Just one of these points could substantially undermine your claim or result in its rejection. Given that the doctor might be inclined towards the insurance company, the prospects aren’t promising.
What actions should I take if I must undergo a compulsory Medical Exam?
Three crucial steps should be observed:
- Deliberate with your attorney on potential alternatives. If your insurance agreement doesn’t mandate such a check-up, you might be able to settle the claim without it. The personal injury and workers compensation experts at John Foy & Associates are available to assist and offer a complimentary consultation.
- Prep with your lawyer beforehand. They can guide you on tackling challenging inquiries, how to decline requests you aren’t obligated to comply with, and when to seek additional information from the doctor.
- Set up a check-up with your own medical expert on that VERY day. Avoid letting the insurer’s physician be the sole authority, and eliminate any ambiguity because your examination was delayed. If necessary, collaborate with your attorney to find a physician who’s familiar with this procedure and genuinely autonomous from your insurer.