5 Reasons Attorneys Should Hire a Legal Nurse Consultant

Why Hire a Legal Nurse Consultant?

Our Top 5 Reasons To Hire a Legal Nurse Consultant

Legal Nurse Consultants are licensed nurses who consult on medical matters for lawyers. They can assist with a range of types of cases like nursing home abuse, legal malpractices, medical injuries as well as wrongful death and product liability. Legal nurse consultants aid lawyers in making intake decisions and pleadings, case management as well as testimony and other responsibilities from the case’s beginning to the point of the trial. Certain legal nurse consultants are experts in certain kinds of cases, like nursing home abuse or in particular kinds of ailments for back injuries, for example.

1. Legal Nurse Consultants Can Evaluate Initial Medical Records for Intake Decisions

The most crucial decision an attorney has to make on the case is whether they should dedicate their time and funds to the case at all. Many attorneys handling cases involving injuries operate on a contingency basis meaning that they don’t get paid until they are successful in winning their case. Legal nurse consultants are able understand and interpret medical records swiftly and effectively due to their training and knowledge of the terminology and methodological approach employed by medical experts. Legal nurse consultants who are dedicated are able to provide faster turnaround times than medical practitioners which means it is less likely that the patient may seek out other counsel in the meantime of waiting to hear an answer on intake.

2. Legal Nurse Consultants Can Assess Whether a Medical Professional Used the Proper Standard of Care

To prove that the medical professional or establishment did not follow through with the care they provided, the treatment offered must be compared with the level of care required. Legal nurses have expertise and expertise to determine whether or not this level of care was delivered by examining the medical records. They can identify exactly the place where a doctor did not do their job and provide proof of the standards of care that were applied to the procedure or condition in question. Legal nurse consultants can present arguments in support and against malpractice, presenting you with an insight into the two sides of the debate.

3. Legal Nurse Consultants Can Let You Know If Negligence Actually Caused The Injuries

Every medical negligence and personal injury case requires evidence of the cause that is proximate to the injury. Proximate cause refers to how the negligent act caused the injuries that are claimed. Let’s take an example: an accident victim declares that he suffered shoulder injuries that required surgery. He then sues the driver who hit him. Legal nurse consultants can look over the claimant’s medical record and find out that he didn’t complain about his right shoulder in the emergency room following the incident and that he injured his shoulder in a previous workplace accident.

Conclusion: the accident may not have led to the injury. When it comes to medical malpractice or nursing home abuse cases, a legal nurse consultant may determine that a patient might be sicker or died even if the correct medical standard of care was utilized.

4. Legal Nurse Consultants Can Help You Determine the Value of a Case

The cost of litigation is high, and it’s important to know whether there’s a chance that sufficient damages will be recovered to recover the cost and generate into a profit. Legal nurse consultants will determine how serious the injuries are, as well as the probability that they’ll cause permanent disabilities. Their experience and training allow them to discern between a new injury from an injury that pre-existed. When a case is taken on the reports of a legal nurse consultant can be useful when formulating requests for settlement or charging jurors.

5. Legal Nurse Consultants Can Assist Attorneys During Every Stage of a Case

Legal nurse consultants typically begin task by looking over medical documents and preparing merit reports. When a case is approved as a matter of law by an attorney it may help by reviewing up-to-date medical reports, creating reports on the permanence of the injury as well as creating specific bills. Legal nurse consultants are also able to be called in as experts, and they generally have better preparation and are cheaper than hiring medical professionals. 

Motor Vehicle Accident Case Study

Your firm has an important personal injury case.

The client was in a motor vehicle accident. He injured his back making it difficult for him to walk, bend over and take care of his invalid wife.

The client has expansive medical records and his wife’s medical records are 10 times more voluminous! Wow, where to begin?

As an attorney, you have options…

  1. Hire a doctor to review the medical records.
  2. Assign the task to a paralegal and let them write the report.
  3. Hire a Legal Nurse Consultant to review the client’s medical history & medical records and write a report.

In this case, the attorney hires a Certified Legal Nurse Consultant (CLNC) to prepare a Medical Case Evaluation.

Legal Nurse Consultants are licensed nurses who consult on medical matters for attorneys. They can assist with a range of types of cases like nursing home abuse, legal malpractices, medical injuries as well as wrongful death, and product liability.

They can aid lawyers in making intake decisions and pleadings, case management as well as testimony, and other responsibilities from the case’s beginning to the point of the trial.

Certain LNCs are experts in specific types of cases, like nursing home abuse or in particular kinds of ailments, i.e. back injuries.

An Environmental Assessment

As a registered nurse with home health expertise, the CLNC performed an environmental assessment at the client’s home and assessed both the client and his wife. The environmental assessment included listing risk factors significant to the client’s injuries, and the challenges of his invalid wife.

The CLNC further prepared a report on the home care needs of the client’s invalid wife, the client’s new injuries as a result of the MVA, and tasks the client can no longer perform for his wife.

The report detailed the lifestyle the couple enjoyed prior to the MVA, and the crippling effect that the MVA had on their well-being – physically, mentally, psychosocially, and spiritually; including the drastic decline in intimacy after the MVA.

The Nurse Consultant attended the deposition and offered expert witness testimony about the medical-related issues.

Ultimately, the attorney was able to use the information in this detailed report at deposition and win a larger settlement for the client.

Other Case Studies

About Jennifer Johnson

I am an RN, BSN, MBA, CLNC® with 32 years of nursing experience; 15 at the bedside in our nation’s hospitals, rehabs and clinics, 17 years in-home health care, and 7 years as a CLNC®.

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