Medical negligence is a common source of personal injury and death in the Poughkeepsie area. Because of the frequency of these incidents, doctors practicing everywhere in the state must retain a form of medical malpractice insurance. This insurance can protect doctors in the event that their treatment results in injury or illness to a patient.

However, as with any insurance policy, insurers want to avoid paying claims as often as possible. One tool they have at their disposal is demanding that the injured party submit to an independent medical examination. An experienced medical negligence attorney could help explain the legal basis for an independent medical exam in a Poughkeepsie medical malpractice case. They could also fight back against their use as evidence. Contact our firm today to schedule an initial consultation to learn more.

What is an Independent Medical Examination?

All medical malpractice cases and personal injury claims center around a physical injury that was the result of a defendant’s supposed negligence. In every example, the injured and their attorneys rely on medical records and reports that diagnose the type and extent of injuries and provide a prognosis for potential recovery.

The injured party’s expert witness can evaluate their harm as well as the defendant doctor’s actions that allegedly caused that injury or illness. To rebut this conclusion, defendants will often dispute the information that led to an initial diagnosis and hire their own experts to provide opinions on the matter.

State law allows them to require that a plaintiff submit to an exam by an “independent” doctor of their choosing. The purpose of this is not to obtain more evidence but rather to bend the case towards their point of view. Sadly, the request for an independent medical evaluation is common in Poughkeepsie malpractice claims and often places the injured under unnecessary additional stress.

How an Attorney Could Fight Back Against the Request for an Independent Medical Exam

Independent medical examinations in Poughkeepsie healthcare negligence cases are far from independent in the traditional meaning of the word. There is no doubt that these exams move forward with the express purpose of helping defendant doctors and their insurance providers obtain information that they may use to deny an injured individual’s claim. Because of the unavoidable nature of these tests, it is essential to have an attorney on one’s side who can dispute their value as evidence.

Independent medical exams are always short. Doctors rarely evaluate a patient for more than 30 minutes. This is typically not enough time to accurately assess a patient’s condition. In addition, doctors may only receive medical reports and not the direct results of tests such as X-rays or blood panels. These two facts alone could lessen the usefulness and accuracy of these examinations and allow an attorney to question their usefulness before jury members.

Let an Attorney Provide Guidance on Independent Medical Exams in Poughkeepsie Medical Negligence Cases

Defendant doctors and their insurance companies in medical malpractice cases will fight to protect their finances and reputations. This often includes demanding that an injured or ill patient submits to an independent medical exam. The purpose here is to obtain a new medical opinion that may offer an alternative reason why you have suffered an injury.

While it is impossible to avoid these exams, a dedicated attorney could help limit their effectiveness as evidence. Speak with our office today to learn more about independent medical exams in a Poughkeepsie medical malpractice case and how to effectively control their use.