When an accident victim files a Maryland personal injury case, the plaintiff must present some evidence of the injuries they sustained to satisfy the “damages” element of their claim. If a plaintiff cannot prove that they sustained damages, the court will dismiss the plaintiff’s claim, even if the defendant admits that they were negligent in causing the accident.
Typically, a plaintiff will present evidence from either a treating physician or a physician who was seen for the specific purpose of obtaining a medical opinion for the case. Of course, the defendant may be skeptical about the plaintiff’s claimed injuries, and they may seek to obtain an independent medical examination (IME) of the plaintiff. Like it or not, if the court orders an IME, a plaintiff must attend and cooperate with the examination. A recent case illustrates the consequences a plaintiff may face if he or she fails to cooperate with a court-ordered IME.
According to the court’s opinion, the plaintiff, a railroad worker, was injured when he slipped after stepping in a puddle of oil. The plaintiff filed a personal injury lawsuit against his employer under the Federal Employer’s Liability Act and was deposed shortly afterward. The defendant requested an IME, which the plaintiff contested, arguing that it was scheduled too far from his home. The court ordered the plaintiff to attend the IME, but it required the defendant to pay for the plaintiff’s mileage.