Academy of Chiropractic Personal Injury & Primary Spine Care Program

Quickie Consult 1141
Testifying 17 T

From the Desk of Dr. Mark Studin
Academy of Chiropractic

Preamble: Many of the issues I bring to you are very small, yet each issue is just that, an issue. If you take care of the small issues, then you will be able to build and more importantly, focus on the bigger issues...a larger practice and more family time. -Mark Studin 2006

"How to testify on the police report"


Dr Studin: what's going on?

Guest Dr: I had an interesting case. So, I was in court yesterday and the question was brought up by the defense attorney and it was interesting because he had disavowed me to speak anything on the accident report. He said that, unless I saw that accident and then he ended it with two questions. And the first question was: doctor, did you see the accident report? And I said yes. And he said, do you notice that it said that the accident only happened at five miles per hour? I said: what? And I could not remember this case took place three years ago, it was right at the end of your limitations? I said, that's what it said. He said yes. And I said then I would have seen that and I guess so let the records reflect that they accidentally happen at five miles per hour. And I went to speak and he said that's it, then he cut me off cause I would've said more.

Dr Studin: That was on course examination, correct?

Guest Dr: Yes. he only had a couple of questions he asked me that.

Dr Studin: now that's on the plaintiff's lawyer in redirect it would redirect the plaintiff's lawyer so you don't have to worry about the defense lawyer and again, this is one of those things you will learn in the documentation course and the testifying of course. That's something where the defense lawyer was in redirect, should've asked you to finish that question. And you will say, did you look at the accident report? Yes, however I noted on there, on my document that I did look at it, but I honestly don't remember everything it said. I only remember that I looked at it and, well doctor, if it said that that it was five miles an hour and you didn't comment on anything. Well to me that's not really an arbiter because I'm not an accident reconstructionist. I only looked at the patient was rear-ended and I look that the robotically injuries, so all I need to know up front, I leave the rest of the accident reconstruction people. He's trying to use you to say, oh it's confirmed at five miles an hour and he's going to use that in a summation to the jury, but it's up to the plaintiff's attorney to then redirect to say, doctor, was it a five mile an hour course or more or is that relevant to your findings? And your answer would have been no. I only know the patient was hitting the rear. I know it was a recent accident because there was high signal on the herniated disc or they did that pain before and I look at the pain and how do we know it was five miles an hour because someone reported it. Was there a camera on this? Was there an accident reconstructionist brought in? I don't know if it was five miles an hour, nobody knows, unless there was a speed gun on it, but everyone's guessing so there's no way of knowing it. But a low speed action that can happen to 10 miles an hour and we know that injury occurs based upon the literature starts to occur 2.49 miles an hour. So the bottom line is my patient was injured in this particular accident and there was no question in my mind about that. But that's on the plaintiff's attorney to asked you those questions and then that's when you get into the action at reconstruction core spinal trauma, pathology courses, all the different courses you take, give you information to fill all that in. But that's not on you. That's up to the plaintiff's attorney who didn't do his job.

Guest Doctor: Yeah. So I mean that's what I was frustrated with cause I really did have an answer but, what I could have said that would have been better is just say something along the lines, which I didn't say but I do not recall. I basically, that's what instead I saw it instead of saying that I do not recall cause I really didn't to be honest about that and say that really had little bearing to do with the injury as far as my findings.

Dr Studin: There's always a better answer, but it's up to the lawyer to clean it up. It's not up to you to clean it up. You understand that's on the lawyer. So don't lose sleep over that one. 

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