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Compulsory Medical Exams in Florida Personal Injury Cases

stethoscopeIf you or someone close to you has been hurt by someone else’s negligence, you may be entitled to compensation for your harm. At the Law Offices of Robert Dixon, our seasoned Miami injury attorneys can help you navigate a personal injury lawsuit from start to finish. When you file a personal injury claim, the defense has a number of tools and strategies they can use to try to minimize the amount of money they will eventually have to pay. Having a deep understanding of Florida injury law, we can often anticipate what the defense will likely try to do and advise you accordingly.

In Florida personal injury litigation, specifically under Florida Rule of Civil Procedure 1.360, a defendant can require that the plaintiff attend a compulsory medical examination (CME) by a doctor of the defendant’s choosing. Put another way, a CME is when the defense hires a doctor to evaluate the plaintiff. This typically means that an insurance company is paying for the doctor. It is important to note that each insurance carrier usually has a handful of doctors that they routinely retain to conduct CMEs. In some cases, a particular doctor will work for a number of insurance companies in the area.

CMEs may arise in two different situations. First, before you file a lawsuit, your auto insurance company may require you to submit to a CME in which you would be evaluated by a doctor whom they pay. This can happen if the auto insurance company suspects you are exaggerating your injuries or if they think they can decrease the medical costs they have to pay out. Second, after you file a lawsuit, the defense may require you to submit to a CME. In fact, the defense can compel you to be evaluated by one of their doctors for each specialty that is currently treating you. For example, if you are seeing a cardiologist and an orthopedist, you may be expected to submit to both a cardiologist and an orthopedist.

A plaintiff may think that the CME is simply a matter of being re-evaluated by another physician, but there are important things the plaintiff must take into account. Plaintiffs should be aware that the CME doctor is not someone with whom the plaintiff has a doctor-patient relationship. In fact, the CME doctor is there to limit or minimize your injury to limit your damages. Plaintiffs should be clear, truthful, and direct but should not allow the CME doctors to put any words in their mouths. In some cases, a plaintiff’s lawyer will send a camera to the evaluation to make sure everything goes smoothly.

If you have been injured in an accident that was not your fault, you need to reach out to a skilled Miami injury attorney without delay. At the Law Offices of Robert Dixon, we understand the nuances of Florida personal injury law and can advise you at every step of the way. Our firm also understands that each situation is unique, which is why we can thoroughly examine the facts of your case and come up with a legal strategy accordingly. For more information, feel free to call us at 1-877-499-HURT (4878) or contact us online today.

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