You typically receive the medical records 30 days in advance.
Your #1 priority is to follow the instructions given in the assignment notification letter. If you have any questions, contact the Impartial Unit.
The report should be thorough, but not complicated. It must address each area in the "format." We expect you to read all records provided, then render a complete detailed report which touches "all the bases" clearly enough for the average layperson to understand it. (But, we recognize that you must deal with medical terms and issues.)
Your report must set out:
- Your diagnosis and prognosis,
- Your opinion on causal relationship between the medical conclusion found,
- The history given of the injury at work,
- The level of medical impairment,
- Specific losses of function or permanent impairment (if any), and,
- Your understanding of the physical requirements of the employee's specific job.
You are considered the Department of Industrial Accidents' expert. Both parties may cross-examine you. you choose the time and place, usually your office.
Currently, the attorney asking for the deposition pays you $750.00 in advance for up to 2 hours. Each additional hour (up to 2 hours) will be $150.00 per hour.
Depositions occur after the hearing. Your answers to the questions you are asked will help the administrative judge determine the medical facts.
Depositions may not last longer than 3 hours unless you, and the administrative judge, agree.
With seasoned workers' compensation attorneys, depositions last 1 hour or less.
A party to a case may often try to establish that your report is "inadequate" in some way or that the medical issues are so "complex" that additional medical evidence should be allowed into the record by the presiding administrative judge.
"Impartial" does not mean "indecisive". Be prepared to to explain and defend your findings and opinions, and to respond to hypothetical questions.
Any change in your opinion should be for substantive reasons.
If you are unable to be deposed, your report is of no use to the department.
Let us know of any unanticipated retirement, practice relocation, vacation, or any foreseeable unavailability.