There are doctors around the country making six to seven figure incomes per year doing medical-legal consulting for insurance companies. Here’s an example of a case in which such work occurs. A person injured in an automobile crash files a lawsuit. The insurance company attorney for the negligent driver who caused the crash will often hire one of the insurance company’s “go-to” doctors to examine and testify against the injured plaintiff. These defense medical examiners (DME) know that if they want to continue to be hired by the defense, they need to be prepared to testify favorably for the defense. Thus, I would bet my house that in every major city in the country, there are doctors who can be counted on by the insurance defense bar to provide one or more of the following opinions in almost every case: the plaintiff is lying, faking or exaggerating; the plaintiff was injured but her injuries healed in a few weeks or months because all such injuries heal in that time frame; and/or the plaintiff is injured but the cause of her injuries are unrelated to the automobile crash.
Because I do not trust such doctors to be objective, I always insist when the defense requests that my client submit to a DME that we enter into a consent order stating, among other things, that the examination will be videotaped or observed by an independent third-party, preferably a nurse. DME doctors always object to this request. Some judges will allow a videographer of independent observer, but some will not.
The vast majority of doctors are good people who became doctors to help patients. Doctors, who want to get rich testifying against patients and who are willing to lie for the cause, are the few bad apples. Those bad apples need to be removed from the barrel and squashed. Moreoever, our clients need to be protected against vultures, so we must protect the integrity of defense examinations by having them videotaped or observed.