Insurance adjusters, workers’ compensation case managers and defence attorneys need to be very careful when selecting and hiring doctors to do evaluations for them. There could be serious danger ahead.

Some insurance doctors have a preference for dismissing or discounting the severity of an injured person’s injuries and disabilities. This can lead to great harm for the injured person, who may be denied treatment and/or cut-off any income replacement benefits.

This is the most serious form of harm. Sometimes, injured people will never be able to recover. An injured person’s losses will escalate, creating higher levels of stress and a significant aggravation to their pains and injuries. Depression and anxiety will worsen, leading to even higher levels of disability. The chances of a person returning to work, in this situation, are much lower.

For insurers, an additional form of danger can follow when these kinds of doctors are hired. Some doctors can be very convincing in their reports. Adjusters may be swayed by the doctor’s opinions and end up with a distorted view of the person’s true injuries. In this situation, adjusters are at risk for underestimating the value of the injured person’s claim and be unprepared for how much the insurance company may have to pay out. This can lead to higher costs for the insurance company and the loss of employment for the adjuster, claims manager and attorney.

I remember the first trial I testified in, many years ago. The defence attorney was totally convinced that my patient’s back pain and depression (with suicide attempts) were not that serious. The lawyer was so sure that he did not even try that hard during the trial.

When the verdict came in from the jury, the truth came out. The jury believed my patient and recommended more than double the amount of money asked for by my patient’s lawyer.

Justice was done for my patient. And, I suspect more than double the trouble came to the people on the insurance side.

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