Cross Examination of the Protection Medical Physician: 9 Keys for Success

1. Cross examination: one reality one query.The one method to preserve management of the physician on cross examination is to ask questions with one proven fact that requires a sure or no reply. You’re giving a speech within the type of questions. The information in your questions ought to stand on their very own and never rely upon any data the witness has of their head. When deposing the protection physician, there are many information to tug from. Listed below are some sources to tug information to place in to your main questions. The protection docs report, plaintiff’s medical data, the physician’s deposition in your case, depositions the physician has given in different circumstances, journal articles written by the protection physician.2. Summarize the vital admissions with main questions.Many occasions a protection physician will admit just a few issues in deposition that assist your consumer’s case. We should always all verify these information with main questions on cross examination. For instance usually protection docs will admit traumatic occasion may end up in an damage that’s applicable to deal with with doctor supervised bodily remedy or chiropractic care inside six weeks of the damage. Affirm the quantity of the payments she or he agrees the collision was a considerable consider inflicting.At deposition get the protection physician to confess that your consumer skilled ache following the damage and that sufferers of theirs have complained of ache for various intervals after an occasion just like the one your consumer went by means of. Most protection docs will admit sure section of the inhabitants is predisposed to damage and that prior damage could make folks extra prone to larger hurt from a later damage. Listed below are some inquiries to attempt on the protection physician’s deposition. These aren’t cross examination questions for trial.Q. Would you agree that some individuals are extra fragile than others?Q. Would you agree that fragile individuals are usually predisposed to larger damage or ache from an injury-producing occasion?Q. Do folks expertise ache otherwise?Q. Some folks have a larger threshold for ache than others?Q. Is there a exact method to measure ache?Medical doctors perceive that an individual’s physique will be “healed” however they’ll nonetheless have ache. A protection physician could also be utilizing the work “healed” to imply that, architecturally, the physique has reached most medical enchancment. Some protection docs will admit that signs, comparable to ache, final lengthy after the physique has “healed.” Deal with signs fairly than accidents or therapeutic.three. If the protection physician’s file is incomplete…Usually protection physician’s recordsdata will probably be incomplete. They could not have all the prior medical data and mostly protection docs won’t have a look at the radiology photographs themselves. Sometimes their overview will depend on the written report of the radiologist who interpreted the photographs. It is a good alternative to level out the place the protection physician bought his data. Stroll by means of with the protection physician how he bought the data of plaintiff. Ask, “All of the data you bought have been offered by the protection lawyer, right physician? Affirm the protection lawyer didn’t present the photographs of plaintiff’s backbone from her X-ray, MRI or CT scans. Most docs will admit that it’s their basic apply to overview MRI photographs themselves earlier than making a choice on whether or not or to not carry out surgical procedure.Keep in mind this difficulty applies with equal vigor to the plaintiff’s treating docs and testifying healthcare suppliers. Beware, treating docs who aren’t made conscious of vital medical data, or details about prior trauma are simply as prone to one of these cross examination.

four. Some signs improved: You believed my consumer when she stated her complications went away?Preserve an eye fixed out for signs or ache the plaintiff has that get higher. For instance it is not uncommon for injured folks to have a number of places of ache early on, a few of which resolve, solely to be left with one or two continual situations which might be considerably affecting their lives. If that is so, you’ll be able to make use of the next cross examination.Q. Did Ms. Jones’s say her complications went away?A. Sure.Q. Did Ms. Jones’s say her low again ache went away?A. Sure.Q. Did you imagine Ms. Jones when she stated her complications went away?A. I did.Q. Did you imagine Ms. Jones when she stated her low again ache went away?A. I did.Q. She was sincere with you about that.A. Sure she was.Q. Did she have any complaints in every other a part of her physique if you examined her?A. Effectively, sure she stated her neck was nonetheless hurting?Q. Did you imagine her when she stated her neck was nonetheless hurting?A. Effectively No or Sure I did. [Either answer is good here.]Q. [If they Say no.] You don’t state wherever in your report that you just didn’t imagine her, true?Q. Did you label Ms. Jones as a malinger in your report?A. No.5. Present that the protection physician is extra acquainted with legislation corporations on the town than the names of the folks he has testified in opposition to in courtroom.You could possibly make the purpose on cross-examination that the protection physician could be very acquainted with the names of the protection legislation corporations that refer him protection medical exams, however much less acquainted with all the people he has testified in opposition to. On the docs deposition see how acquainted the physician is with the names of the extra outstanding corporations that ship him circumstances. Ask which corporations refer him essentially the most protection medical examinations. If he says he doesn’t bear in mind, present the names of some corporations you already know have referred enterprise his manner. He’ll bear in mind some.Q. Are you aware the legislation agency of Smith, Jones and Johnson?A. Sure.Q. Are you aware the legislation agency of Levi & Louis?A. Sure.Q. These are legislation corporations who’ve referred you enterprise?A. Sure.Q. Physician are you aware Javier Martinez?A. No.Q. Are you aware Tom Jones?A. No.Q. Are you aware James Lee?A. No.Q. Are you aware Sally Smith?A. No.[Make sure you get real names from real people, and have the old reports ready to back it up.]Q. the legislation corporations I requested you about, true?Q. You do not know the names of any of the folks you’ve testified in opposition to in Superior Courtroom?Q. You do not bear in mind any of them do you?Q. You haven’t any accountability for these folks do you?Q. You do not take care of them as their physician do you?Q. You do not deal with them?Q. You do not have to fret about them at allQ. You simply have to provide a report that claims they don’t seem to be damage?Q. You simply have to provide a report for the legislation agency that employed you?6. Physician do you’ve any personal affected person’s that you just’re accountable for?Many protection docs nonetheless have just a few personal sufferers that they see. Here’s a line of questions that exposes that absurdity that everybody will get higher on the similar charge, all inside six weeks time, all with a brief course of bodily remedy and a few house workouts.Q. Dr. Do you’ve any personal affected person’s that you just’re accountable for?A. Sure.Q. Do a few of them get damage in accidents?A. Sure.Q. Do a few of them get damage swinging a golf membership?A. Sure.Q. Enjoying tennis?A. Sure.Q. Jogging down the road?A. Sure.Q. Stepping of a curbingA. Sure.Q. Bending over-the-counter to shave?A. Sure.Q. Altering a child’s diaper?A. Sure.Q. Any impacts in any of these incidents?A. No.Q. Any property injury?A. NoQ. Do you ask for footage of golf golf equipment, or baseball bats, or tennis racquets?A. No.Q. Do you’ve any footage inside your personal affected person’s charts?A. No.Q. Have you ever ever taken care of anybody who was ever damage in an auto accident?A. Sure I’ve.Q. Have any of them had neck accidents?A. Sure a few of them.Q. Have any of them had again accidents?A. A few of them have.Q. Do you really deal with them for this?A. Sure I do.Q. A few of them get properly immediately.A. Sure.Q. Have you ever ever heard of the phrase continual?A. Sure.Q. What does that imply?A. Effectively it means one thing that lengthy lasting and lengthy standing.Q. Through the years have any of your sufferers had continual again issues?A. I’m certain there have been just a few of them.Q. Do any of them have continual neck issues?A. Often that can occur.Q. Effectively if they are saying they’re nonetheless hurting do you continue to care for them?A. Sure.Q. Do you ship a few of them out for MRI’s, PT, or ache administration?A. Sure.Q. My consumer informed you the reality. Her complications bought higher, her neck bought higher, and her again isn’t higher?Q. And she or he was in an auto accident identical to a few of your personal sufferers.A. Sure.Q. Do not you assume physician that she might have been damage to on this accident?A. [There is not a lot he can say.]7. Physician do you’ve footage of car injury in any of your personal sufferers charts?Here’s a line of inquiries to level out the absurdity of basing a medical analysis on property injury estimates or pictures of automobile bumpers. Sometimes you may get these admissions through the deposition of a health care provider. Many medical docs will admit at deposition that there’s little correlation between the extent of damage to the quantity of harm to a automobile.Q. Dr. Did you get a replica of the restore estimate on this case?A. No.Q. Did you set a replica of the restore estimate within the plaintiff’s file?A. No.Q. Have you ever ever requested any of your personal sufferers for a restore estimate from a physique store?A. No.Q. Do not you simply ask your sufferers in the event that they have been damage?A. Sure.Q. Do not you hearken to their subjective signs?A. Sure.Q. Aren’t their subjective complaints the most effective device you must diagnose their issues?A. Sure.Q. Do you’ve any footage of a fender or a bumper in any of your personal affected person’s file?A. No.Q. Have you ever ever made a analysis of any spinal situation bases on of a bumper?A. No.It is a good rebuttal to the frequent protection within the low influence case of simply use your “common sense”. The trial that begins with a giant image of a bumper and the chorus, “use your common sense.” We have to flip that round and say, “Yes, use your common sense. Members of the jury, when you want to know why your back hurts do you look at your golf club, or your tennis racquet or your bumper? No, you feel the pain and you tell your doctor.”Jurors do not attempt to determine if their again hurts based mostly on a physics components, they can’t perceive. Pose the thought, “Has anyone in this courtroom ever gone up to the black board to figure out their injuries?”eight. Create main questions with information lifted from the medical data.

We should always take some pointers from protection attorneys from their cross examinations of plaintiffs. The most effective cross examinations of an injured plaintiff makes use of main questions with information taken from the subjective complaints lifted from the medical data. The same technique can be utilized when cross analyzing the protection medical physician. Here’s a line of main questions utilizing information lifted from medical data.Q. You reviewed the medical data of Ms. Smith’s treating physician, Dr. Jones?A. Sure.Q. You’re conscious on Might 1st Ms. Smith reported to Dr. Jones that her proper thumb was numb?A. Sure.Q. Once more on Might 15th she reported that her proper thumb was numb?A. Sure.Q. And that proper thumb numbness was documented by Dr. Jones in her chart on that very same day Might 15th.A. Sure.Q. Once more on Might 22nd Ms. Smith reported to Dr. Jones that her proper thumb was numb?A. Sure.Q. And once more that symptom of proper thumb numbness was documented by Dr. Jones on Might 22nd.A. Sure.Q. These information are documented in Ms. Smith’s medical data.A. Sure.Q. You don’t dispute the reality of those information do you?A. No.9. Restrict the protection physician who desires to testify about malingering.Protection docs will usually testify on issues on which they’re merely not certified to supply testimony. A standard one is testimony about malingering or secondary achieve. If the doctor begins stating that the consumer is a malingerer, or advancing secondary achieve, get them to confess that these are diagnoses underneath the DSM IV or DSM IV-R. Have a replica of the DSM standards for malingerer and ask the physician to let you know what they’re. Sometimes they can’t. Get them to confess that they don’t seem to be licensed to do psychology, that they don’t seem to be practising as psychologists or psychiatrists and so they refer their sufferers to professionals in psychology / psychiatry in the event that they assume that they want such therapy. This demonstrates that they don’t seem to be licensed in that discipline and, due to this fact, lack the to supply testimony on these topics. Have them admit that they didn’t preform a psychological examination, psycho-social historical past and/or didn’t conduct the battery of psychological exams such because the MMPI or MMCI. This exhibits that they lack a basis upon which to supply testimony as to a psychological analysis. Keep in mind your deposition is as a lot about limiting the scope of testimony as it’s about figuring out what that testimony may be. File a movement in limine to preclude that testimony.Conclusion:When making ready in your cross examination of the protection physician understand that every case is exclusive. Attempting to make use of cookie cutter cross examination methods many not serve you properly. Observe your cross examination in your colleagues and pals. Have them learn the DME report and deposition and see how properly your main questions work. Does every query really stand by itself and name for a sure or no reply? Does every of your main questions name for information and never characterizations or opinions? After your preparation is full, bear in mind the jurors count on the plaintiff to take some hits from the protection physician through the direct examination. Your job is to not make it worse on cross. Make some factors utilizing the highly effective device of the main query and sit down. Keep in mind the phrases of Voltaire: “The perfect is the enemy of the good.”

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