Defense Lawyers Looking for Every Advantage
After agreeing to a defense medical exam, we received a letter from defense counsel with a draft agreed upon order to be filed with the court agreeing to the DME. Here is letter and the order. This is the first time I have seen a defense lawyer try to do this.
While it is all rather harmless in most cases, why in the world would a plaintiff's lawyer sign this? Without reference to any conditions, the client agrees to the exam without qualification for nothing in return? I wish I knew what percentage of plaintiffs' lawyers just sign this and send it back. It must work at least occasionally, or he wouldn't still be sending this out (unless he just wants a reason to put down .2 on his time sheet). I also think it is really annoying because you have to respond - you can't let a "the doctor is going to bill you $600 for a missed appointment" sit out there without a response. (Well, maybe you can but I think you have to respond to set the record straight.)
My first reaction when I see these is to get annoyed. Does he think we are idiots? But then I think, "Good for him, he's trying to score every advantage he can for his client."
The reality is that the quality of lawyers handling car accident cases varies wildly. Some of the best lawyers in Maryland are plaintiffs' lawyers. I also think it is fair to say that some of the worst lawyers are handling car accident cases, too. As a result, smart defense lawyers send out a lot of little missives like this DME letter in order to try to take advantage of plaintiffs' lawyers that have no business handling personal injury cases.
We have put together a pretty comprehensive information center for independent medical exams on our website as a resource for lawyers dealing with these issues.