People involved in catastrophic workplace accidents often suffer not only physical harm but mental injuries as well. Thus, if they seek damages for their losses, they may have to undergo medical examinations to evaluate their physical and cognitive detriments. Typically, only physicians can conduct such examinations. Recently, a Massachusetts court evaluated whether neuropsychologists are considered doctors for the purpose of such examinations in a case in which the plaintiff sought damages for harm sustained in a workplace accident. If you suffered injuries at work, you might be able to recover benefits and pursue claims against third parties, and it is smart to meet with a Massachusetts workers’ compensation lawyer to assess your options.
The Plaintiff’s Harm
It is alleged that the plaintiff suffered critical injuries while working on a construction site. His co-conservators subsequently filed both a workers’ compensation claim seeking benefits from the plaintiff’s employer and a civil lawsuit seeking damages from the general contractor for the site on the plaintiff’s behalf. According to the report of a neuropsychologist, the plaintiff suffered from cognitive and physical deficits as a result of the accident.
Reportedly, the defendant’s neuropsychologist disagreed with the plaintiff’s assertion after reviewing his medical records, and the defendant moved to have the plaintiff undergo an independent medical examination. The plaintiff objected to the motion on the grounds that the neuropsychologist was not a physician and therefore was precluded from examining the plaintiff pursuant to Massachusetts Rule of Civil Procedure 35. The court granted the defendant’s motion, and the plaintiff appealed. Continue reading →