Claimants often ask me about the scope of an orthopedic defense medical examination. What is the doctor looking at? What is the doctor looking for? Is the doctor just a hired gun?
Typically, the same questions are asked to every orthopedic defense expense. These questions define the scope of the examination. As such, it is good for a Longshore or Defense Base Act claimant to know what the insurance adjuster or defense lawyer asked the doctor.
Without further ado, here is a list of typical defense medical examination questions and directions.
- Please identify all orthopedic symptoms of which Claimant currently complains.
- Please provide your diagnosis of Claimant’s current orthopedic condition(s), if any.
- Please address whether Claimant’s orthopedic diagnosis or diagnoses are related to a work incident.
- Please address whether Claimant’s orthopedic conditions were caused by an overcompensation injury.
- Please address any non-work-related cause(s) of Claimant’s current orthopedic conditions.
- Please advise whether Claimant requires medical treatment for his work-related conditions, and if so, how long you anticipate Claimant will require such treatment. Please also provide your recommendations for future treatment, if any is necessary.
- Has Claimant achieved maximum medical improvement with respect to each of his work-related orthopedic condition(s)? If not, please give your opinion as to when maximum medical improvement could be achieved for each work-related injury.
- Is Claimant capable of returning to work overseas as a Field Service Technician with respect to his orthopedic injury(ies) at this time? If not, is Claimant capable of returning to any job at this time?
- If Claimant is able to return to work but with restrictions, please identify those restrictions.
- If Claimant is not capable of returning to work either domestically or overseas at this time, to what extent is his disability caused by his work-related injury with Employer?
Every case is different. As such, the questions and directions listed above will be narrowly-tailored to the facts of each case.
Attribution: Photograph courtesy of Flickr user wp paarz. Also, attribution credit for the image is given to Weiss and Paarz Medical Malpractice Attorneys. Check out Weiss and Paarz’s website at www.weisspaarz.com.