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Being Examined by an Insurance Doctor > Videotaping the Assessment

There has been a shift in Ontario in recent years, in the personal injury field of law, towards plaintiff counsel pushing for certain defence medical assessments of their clients being videotaped.

In Ontario, if you bring a lawsuit seeking damages arising from your injuries, then the defendant(s) in your lawsuit are entitled to generally to require you to submit to at least one medical assessment, by a doctor of their choice, in order to respond properly to your lawsuit. See Ontario Rules of Civil Procedure – Rule 33.

If you are to be examined by a medical doctor (who you’ve never met before), can your lawyer demand that the assessment be videotaped?

Although there have been a number of motions on this issue of late, the answer remains mixed.

In the recent case of Moroz v. Jenkins, 2010 ONSC 4789, the videotaping of a defence psychiatric medical assessment, by Dr. Lawrence Reznek, was sought by counsel for the plaintiff.

The issue was the plaintiff’s alleged unstable emotional condition, which might render him incapable of properly undergoing a medical assessment on any particular.

The plaintiff had prior psychiatric issues, having been admitted to a mental health clinic just prior to this accident.  The rear-end accident, with whiplash-type injuries at first, were then said to be the cause of a downward spiral of the plaintiff’s health, including cognitive issues / acquire head injury complaints.

For obvious reasons, defence counsel and the medical doctors performing assessments are opposed in general to videotaping of their assessments.  As a matter of course, plaintiff medical assessments (done without the consent of the opposing party) are not videotaped or recorded for later use and challenge at Court.

Mr. Justice Wood allowed the videotaping of the psychiatric defence medical.  This would safeguard the plaintiff should he have problems dealing with the assessment or providing proper evidence to the medical assessor.

As a counterbalance, the videotape of the assessment is to be sealed.  It will not be allowed to be presented in Court unless the plaintiff similarly records its own plaintiff psychiatric examination; allowing both assessments to be viewed, if necessary, in Court.