Should the attorney for an injured victim attend a defense medical exam with the client?
Just today, Pittsburgh car accident attorney Bernie Tully went to a Defense medical exam at Passavant Hospital with his client in a car accident case. I think that my client was glad she did not have to attend the exam all alone. But I sometimes wonder whether the attorney going to the exam is a good idea.
The reasons for going to the exam are that the attorney knows exactly what happened at the exam instead of just getting the report from the doctor after the examination. Also the clients almost always appreciate the moral support the attorney can provide.
However the reasons not to attend the medical exam are also compelling. The attorney cannot testify to what he saw or observed at the exam. To do so one would have to call himself as a witness at trial. This is not allowed in the law. Also the attorney attending the exam can be viewed as trying to influence the doctors opinions. A jury does not look favorably on that.
Considering both sides of it, I think it’s better to attend the exam with the client.
That’s my opinion. What do you think?
Bernie the attorney.