doctorEvery day people are injured in auto accidents and seek fair compensation for their injuries. And, every day auto liability companies such as Geico, State Farm and Allstate, pay large sums of money to a stable of medical "experts" who testify on behalf of the at-fault drivers they insure.

The question is do these, in some cases multi-million dollar pay-outs, affect the neutral and detached judgements of these doctors? The answer to that is simple, would multi-billion dollar corporations keep paying them if it didn't?

Reliably, so-called IMEs or Independent Medical Exams, yield a treasure trove of trial testimony in personal injury cases, calculated to undermine the injured party's claims. Interestingly, the lawyers who represent crash victims can tell you who the " Usual suspects" are.

In the DMV there have been legendary doctors who are called upon repeatedly to say that an injured party overtreated or malingered, to the great benefit of insurance companies.

How do skilled injury lawyers counteract this insidious practice? The answer is two-fold.

First, these doctors systematically overlook or disregard some medical records that would refute their opinions. Sometimes, it is an MRI showing a structural injury that would clearly be the cause of continuing symptoms suffered by the crash victim. Or, perhaps a family doctor's physical a year before the crash that reports no back problems whatsoever for somone who's surgery is being contested by the liability insurer and it's hired gun doctor.

It requires a skillful plaintiff's lawyer who takes the time to know your medical records and what they mean.

Second, follow the money. IME doctors charge a lot for their services. The most prized ones can make millions of dollars just testifying and often are evasive about this when questioned at trial. So, the best practice is to conduct a deposition of the IME doctor before trial and ask for all tax records reflecting expert witness payments from insurers.

While these doctors are often resistant to providing these records the courts compel them to do so. Sometimes, these doctors lose their desire to testify once their little jackpot is exposed.

So beware the  liability insurer's doctors, they aren't there to help. For more go to:

Robert V. Clark
Maryland Car Accident and Personal Injury Lawyer
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