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After your attorney files your psychological claim for the injury you sustained during your employment as a DBA security guard, what happens next? The defense attorney will schedule you to be examined by a psychologist or psychiatrist of their choosing. You’re probably wondering what to expect during the examination and what’s the purpose? This is the insurance company’s opportunity to have you examined by a doctor that they have hand-selected to determine the extent of your psychological injuries. This doctor is going to evaluate you and then write a report summarizing the results of the examination. Obviously, this report will have an impact on your case because a Judge will consider their IME doctor’s opinion when making a ruling on your case at trial. There are a few things to aware of in order to be prepared for your examination, but first understand this important nugget of information:

An administrative law judge (“ALJ”) has “the discretion to evaluate the credibility of a claimant and to arrive at an independent judgment, in light of medical findings and other evidence.”  Pietrunti v. Dir OWCP, 119 F.3d 1035 (2d Cir. 1997).  Additionally,person-in-black-pants-and-black-shoes-sitting-on-brown-4101143-2-300x200 an ALJ is not bound to believe or disbelieve the entirety of a witness’s testimony but may choose to believe only certain portions of the testimony.  Mijangos v. Avondale Shipyards, Inc., 948 F.2d 941 (5th Cir. 1991).

There are several items that can impact a Claimant’s credibility and so the injured worker must remember:

  • Testimony at trial or in deposition MUST BE consistent with past testimony or statements;
  • Claimant must have actually seen or heard the events about which the Claimant has testified (corroborating evidence helps);
  • Recalling events accurately (verify your dates before you speak);
  • Description of events seems likely; and
  • Don’t go into great detail about unrelated psychological issues such as “people say craziness runs in my family.”

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