Wednesday, September 15, 2010

Fighting Words Increase Disability & Loss


Remarks from doctors,, hired by insurers can backfire in a big way. They can hurt the injured person they are assessing. Some remarks can also hurt the insurer the doctor is trying to help.

These are fighting words and they can be very destructive. In fact, they can cause so much extra stress to the injured person that the injured person's injuries become worse. This can lead to even more disability and loss.

Is this really what insurers and defense lawyers want - more disability and loss in their claimants?

A clear example of fighting words was in a medical report I was reviewing, as I prepared for a trial. My patient's lawyer had asked me to be an expert witness in her trial, related to injuries she sustained in a car accident. Here are the fighting words...." she wore her fibromyalgia like a badge of disability".

My patient was crushed when she read this comment. Understandably her depression increased and her ability to cope with her severe pain decreased significantly.

Fortunately, my patient's lawyer loved the comment. He planned to use this (and many related comments by this doctor) to show his cruelty and total disregard for my patients suffering and losses. This lawyer was planning a field day when it came time to cross-examine this doctor.

People in pain deserve a little respect. All health care and legal professionals are obligated to show a little humanity. Otherwise, peoples' losses and suffering will escalate. Then everyone loses.

Caring is not only good medicine - it is also good business.

Yours with care.

Michael

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