When involved in a personal injury lawsuit, the defense may ask for a ‘CME’. This is an acronym for ‘Compulsory Medical Exam’. It is an exam conducted by a doctor to assess the condition of a patient, usually in regard to a specific injury.
There are two components to a CME exam. The first is an oral component where the doctor will ask questions regarding your injury or injuries. The second part is the physical component, where the doctor will evaluate physical conditions and symptoms. It is important to keep in mind that your conduct during the process is taken under consideration in their findings.
Why are CME’s Requested?
Requesting a CME is a way for the defense team to gather information regarding the plaintiff’s injuries and condition after the accident.
For example, it may be requested if the defense suspects that the injuries are not as serious as the plaintiff claims, or the condition may have been present before the accident.
However, the defense can not submit a request for a Compulsory Medical Exam (CME) without there being reasonable doubt in your case. You may want to work with a lawyer if you are asked to undergo a CME.
What should I Know About a CME Request
A CME request is submitted to establish the severity of the plaintiff’s injury or injuries. This is important, because the compensation paid out for a case is usually dependent upon the damages suffered. With regard to the doctor conducting the CME, this is usually chosen by the defense, although in some states the plaintiff also gets a say.
The medical examiner chosen will provide reports to both parties and may testify as witnesses if asked to in court.
There are some critical points to be aware of if asked to submit a CME:
- It is not a confidential exam. What you say during the examination is not considered private information
- All information you provide can be included in the exam’s findings
- Never lie about your condition or the extent of your injuries
- Always provide clear answers
The doctor providing the CME is not going to be providing treatment for their findings. Their job is to evaluate if the condition or injury is as severe as claimed.
What Conditions Require a CME?
Any condition that the state considers “controversial” may ask the plaintiff to submit a CME. Typical injuries may include:
- Fractured or broken bones
- Internal bleeding
- Nerve Damage
How can you best prepare for a CME? Take note of how the injury has impacted your life: pain, restriction in movement, difficulties in performing tasks of daily living. Try making a checklist in your mind of possible questions that the physician may ask during the examination.
If your medical history is long or complicated, you may want to review it with your injury lawyer before the exam. A lawyer can help you prepare for the exam to help you report your history accurately.
What to Do After the Examination?
From the patient’s perspective, it is a good idea to see another provider after the CME. It is advised to do so on the exact same day, so the two reports accurately reflect your injuries or condition.
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The material contained on this site is for informational purposes only and DOES NOT CONSTITUTE THE PROVIDING OF MEDICAL ADVICE, and is not intended to be a substitute for independent professional medical judgment, advice, diagnosis, or treatment. Always seek the advice of your physician or other qualified healthcare providers with any questions or concerns you may have regarding your health.