3 Reasons Your Clients Should Secretly Record the Independent Medical Examiner – EVERY TIME!

Independent Medical Examiner DoctorAs I have previously written, an Independent Medical Exam is one lie per word.  Let’s face it… there is absolutely NOTHING “Independent” about an Independent Medical Examiner (IME).  I call it what it truly is, a Defense Medical Exam.  And it is not a true “Medical Exam.”  95% of the time the doctor has already made up his mind before he ever plans on seeing the patient.  And, according to well-known DME hacks in middle Tennessee, the doctors are not the ones who request an in-person exam.  It is the DEFENSE ATTORNEY who is requesting this.   (Make sure to ask that question in your next cross of the DME.) 

But isn’t that UNETHICAL?  Can I get in trouble for telling my clients to do that?  No, and NO.  Here are the 3 Reasons you should have your clients do this every time.

  1. You Have the Responsibility to PROTECT YOUR CLIENT.   I have always been astounded that the defense’s hand selected doctor could have 30 minutes or longer unfettered and unprotected access to my clients.    Sure, I have asked to have these videotaped, but that usually does little good, since the doctor will pretend to be nice since he is aware he is on camera.  All you are going to do is help the defense with this.

The Tennessee Rules of Professional Conduct, Rule 4.4 “Respect for the Rights of Third Persons” , Comment [1] states that “[T]his rule does not prohibit secret recording so long as the lawyer has a substantial purpose other than to embarrass or burden the persons being recorded.  It would be a violation of RPC 4.1 or RPC 8.4(c), however, if the lawyer stated falsely or affirmatively misled another to believe that a conversation or an activity was not being recorded.  By itself, however, secret taping does not violate either RPC 8.4© (prohibition against dishonest or deceitful conduct) or RPC 8.4(d)” 

Furthermore, once you have obtained the recording the doctor, you do not have a duty to disclose these tapes ethically unless you are specifically asked to produce them.

Are my clients recording these defense hack doctors?  You bet they are.

  1. SOME of these DOCTORS LIE!    We have caught them in the act.  There is a well-known local doctor near Brentwood who recently testified that our client was “off the charts” with her complaints of pain, and that she was malingering.   Our client had a friend accompany her who taped the entire DME meeting.  In that meeting, the recording clearly records the plaintiff saying she had only “4” out of 10 neck pain.  It was not “Off the charts” and this same doctor has previously testified for plaintiffs that “6 out of 10” neck pain is only “moderate.”  Without the actual recording to protect the client, this doctor would have gotten away with it.  The only person exaggerating or lying was this well-known hack doctor. 

This case settled shortly after this tape was provided after the deposition.

  1. It shows that doctors will not ask the ULTIMATE QUESTION:    95 % of the time the doctors are asked by insurance companies to provide the DME in efforts to divert causation of the client’s injuries away from the car wreck at issue.

Picture this… the doctor has the patient right there in front of him. He is being asked to see this patient to determine the cause of her neck pain, for example.  He has records showing past treatment years ago.  One question they will never ask is “Immediately before the wreck, how was your neck feeling?”    Even if there is a prior condition (like normal aging conditions) it can be exacerbated (T.P.I. 14.14) by a new trauma.   Why doesn’t the doctor simply ask the question? 

I truly believe that a DME, if crossed properly, will add at least $25,000 (if not much more) to the value of your case.  

If you would like to learn more on how to increase the value of your case by “Destroying the DME”, please SAVE THE DATE  of NOVEMBER 6, 2020 for the TTLA conference I am chairing entitled “PLAY BIGGER:  Maximize Your Case Results”.   I will share with you my whole playbook on how to get ready to depose the DME with confidence and increase the value of your case.

See you there!

 

John

John Griffith
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Nashville Personal Injury Trial Attorney
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