Good vs. Bad Defense Medical Exams
We all know insurance companies are looking out for their bottom line, which is why they sometimes hire out known biased defense doctors to defend against your San Diego personal injury case. Now, don't get me wrong, there are professional unbiased defense doctors working out in the field, but there are those "bad apples" out there who are biased. I know this from personal experience in some of my cases.
It is unfortunate, but that is how the system is set up, so what is the solution? Ultimately, the equalizer in such circumstances is going to a jury trial. The jury is the ultimate decider of facts and can help to see through if a defense medical expert is biased or not. This is done through an experienced trial lawyer on cross-examination at trial.
In the past, I have had defense medical experts concede and agree what my client went through was reasonable and necessary. The problem with bad defense medical experts is when they are 100% biased, and purposely put in a bad call on my client simply because they want to get more business from the defense insurance company. There are many different ways an experienced personal injury lawyer can expose this bias at deposition or trial.
So, I don't look at it so harshly as some others might look at it. I cannot control what the defense medical doctor is going to write in his or her medical report. I cannot control if an insurance company decides to go with a biased medical doctor that will do the insurance company's bidding.
What I can control is my job to expose any bias, and take an injury case to trial if I need to do so. This is why we have juries, thankfully. It puts risk on both sides to go to trial, and generally, if you have the truth and facts behind you, you will succeed. There are more witnesses to a personal injury jury trial than just the biased defense medical doctor. We have our medical witnesses, along with my client, and people in the community that know him or her best to come in to testify.
At the end of the day, we all want a fair fight, and I think the goal is to try to achieve a settlement without a jury trial. One that makes sense to both sides, not just one. If you have a personal injury case, you should know that you will be required to undergo a physical exam from a defense doctor hired out by the insurance company to defend your case. If you have a lawyer, talk to your lawyer about defense doctor bias and what they do to prepare the case for it. This is just another reason why you need an experienced "trial lawyer" on your side.
If you are going through a similar situation, or just have questions on this topic, please consider reaching out to me at 619.813.7955. I take calls like yours all the time, and I would be happy to see if I can help you as well. Stay strong, Attorney Mark