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After you have filed a personal injury claim and have begun negotiations with the defendant’s insurance company, at some point, you will get asked to attend a defense medical examination. That is a time when a physician that has been selected by the insurance company has a chance to look at your injuries.

Preparation allows you to take advantage of that exam.

The defendant’s insurer hopes to uncover some piece of evidence that you have exaggerated the extent of your injuries. By learning ahead of time what to avoid doing, you can demonstrate the degree to which the harm done to your body has disrupted your life.

Actions that you need to avoid at the time of the scheduled examination.

• Do not arrive late. Plan ahead of time how you will get there, and allow plenty of time for making that trip.
• Do not think about faking a problem that does not exist. Consider how you can focus on your pain and discomfort without leaving the impression that you have tried to exaggerate the nature of your injuries.
• Do not be over-eager to get onto the examining table. If that action poses a challenge to you, make that fact known. Understand that the doctor will be watching all of your actions.
• Make no mention of your claim, when speaking with the doctor. Only talk about the extent to which your body has been damaged, and no longer performs as well as it did before.
• Do not answer any question unless you are sure that you understand it.

Appreciate the fact that the doctor is not supposed to cause you to experience any added pain. Attempt any test that you get asked to perform, unless it triggers development of a painful sensation.

What you should take with you

Take a friend or family member with you. In that way, you will have an added pair of eyes watching what the doctor does, and an added pair of ears, listening to what the physician says. Later, if the physician’s report does not match with what he or she saw at the time of that defense examination, your friend or family member can vouch for that fact. Additionally, discuss all your concerns with your Personal Injury Lawyer in St John’s before you go for the examination.

Take along a pen or pencil and some paper. After you have left the examining room, sit down somewhere and record what happened. Did you experience any pain while being examined, or while taking any test? Enter that fact in your post-exam notes.

Did the physician act in an intrusive manner, while carrying out the exam? If so, jot that down; the rules on defense exams prohibit introduction of intrusive procedures. Go to that exam with a feeling of confidence. Feel ready to relax and smile.