If you have been injured in an accident in Florida, a defendant has the right to demand that the injured party undergo a compulsory medical examination (CME). Although not always independent, these examinations are sometimes referred to as “independent” medical examinations.
For example, if you were injured in a car accident and decide to sue the negligent party, the defendant in your case may request a CME if they don’t believe your injuries are as serious as you claim or if they suspect your injuries were caused by something other than the crash.
A request for CME in a civil action lawsuit is authorized under Florida Rule of Civil Procedure 1.360. In personal injury cases, the defendant has the right to have the plaintiff examined by a doctor or doctors of his or her choice to diagnose or verify the extent of the injury. The outcome of the CME may be used by defendants to defend a case by confirming whether the injury was preexisting or was not as severe as the plaintiff’s lawyer or doctor alleges. If a plaintiff is asked to do a CME exam, they should be candid and honest about their injuries, never exaggerating them.
Examples of Injuries That Might Be Considered in a CME
According to Florida Rules of Civil Procedure 1.360, any circumstance that is the subject of “controversy” could be examined in a CME. The following are some instances of injuries that may be evaluated:
- Traumatic Brain Injuries (TBI)
- Bone fractures
- Internal injuries that result in organ failure or blood loss
- Spinal or Back Injuries
- Nerve damage
The main goal of a CME is to analyze your condition and see if it is as serious as you claim it is or to check if it was caused by something other than the accident such as a pre-existing medical condition.
When Submitting to a CME, You Should Keep These Things in Mind
The defense will attempt to gain confirmation of your injuries through a CME request, and the opposing party may seek a second opinion despite the findings of your medical reports. They can also choose the medical examiner who will perform the exam.
The examiner can also be called to testify in court as a witness. Ultimately, the severity of your injuries and the extent of your damages will decide the outcome of your injury claim. Here are some things to consider if you are asked to participate in a CME:
- During your visit, there is no patient-doctor confidentiality. Don’t give out any information that isn’t required.
- Before you respond, make sure you understand the doctor’s questions completely.
- Do not exaggerate the severity of your injuries or your condition.
How a Personal Injury Attorney Can Help
If you are asked to take part in a CME, you should seek legal advice. A personal injury lawyer can assist you in determining the authenticity of the request as well as protecting your legal interests throughout the process.
The Law Offices of Leonard J. Valdes has successfully represented clients in Florida who have been injured or who have been asked to participate in a compulsory medical examination. Their experienced legal team can explain what a mandated medical examination is and how it will impact your case. Contact us today to get started as soon as possible.