5 Reasons Why you Need a Legal Nurse Consultant for Your Next Personal Injury CaseLegal Compliance Resource
June 3, 2014 — 1,570 views
As a personal injury attorney working on contingency cases, you know that you have to work as efficiently as possible because to do otherwise might simply bankrupt your practice. You may be tempted to cut costs on legal nurse consultants, but this article will discuss ways that these professionals can prove themselves invaluable to your next personal injury case.
The first instance where you might call upon a legal nurse consultant is before you file a lawsuit. Many personal injury lawyers rely on their legal nurse consultants to speak with the client when they initially call the law firm. The nurse will know what questions to ask the client when they first call. This also benefits the client, because they will know that they are speaking with a person who understands their issues. You will be able to provide a higher level of service to those who are seeking your counsel, and it will make you a better lawyer. If the nurse believes the case might have a cause of action, you move on to the records gathering phase of the case.
After you obtain your client's medical records and bills a legal nurse consultant can provide a case review to determine if there are any causation issues contained in the documents that you need to weigh prior to initiating suit. Your paralegal will be able to summarize the records in the sense of providing a summary of what happened. The difference in using a legal nurse consultant will be that that person will be able to tell you what should or should not have happened. A legal nurse consultant will have an understanding of what the standard of care is, and every piece of evidence will be evaluated from that perspective. A nurse understands things such as what medications should not be mixed together and what should happen during surgeries.
Then, the legal nurse consultant can complete a medical chronology or summary for your use in understanding the key event timelines in your client's case. This will serve as a key document for your team all the way through trial if need be.
When finding and communicating with potential experts, many doctors are more comfortable speaking with a legal nurse consultant than with a paralegal. Your legal nurse consultant will most likely be in a much better position than your paralegal is when it comes to understanding the medical issues in your client's case. This knowledge will save you attorney time because the legal nurse consultant can obtain the initial opinion from the potential expert over the phone.
Further, the legal nurse consultant will be able to help you determine the damages in the client's case. The nurse can prepare a detailed life care plan that will explain what the estimated cost of care is for the remainder of the client's life. Many times, these reports can be used at mediation and result in settlement prior to trial. There are many ways to cut costs in personal injury contingency cases, but utilizing a legal nurse consultant should not be one of them.