A legal nurse consultant is a registered nurse who consults on medical-related legal cases, such as medical malpractice, wrongful death, personal injury, product liability, slip-and-fall,workers’ compensation, and elder law. With their clinical training, a legal nurse consultant can effectively and efficiently aid a trial team. Accordingly, they consult and educate clients on specific medical and nursing issues in their cases. Law firms, insurance companies, employers, nursing homes, and rehabilitation facilities are increasingly employing legal nurse consultants. Some are even hired as full-time in-house employees! For attorneys seeking legal nurse consultants for a specific case, The Expert Institute will custom recruit a highly qualified and currently licensed registered nurse. Specifically, one whose education, work experience, and litigation experience is best suited to assist you throughout litigation.
#1: Legal Nurse Consultants Tackle Medical Records
Reviewing health care records is an arduous and time-consuming process. Particularly for those unfamiliar with the industry, understanding the terminology, subtitles, and collection process of medical records can be impossible. Consequently, Legal nurse consultants provide critical value to attorneys with their ability to professionally analyze healthcare records and literature. Utilizing their clinical experience, nursing expertise, and familiarity with health care systems, legal nurse consultants note missing documents, flag inconsistencies found within the medical records, and provide a comprehensive and easily digestible summary of the medical issues.
#2: Legal Nurse Consultants Evaluate the Standard of Care
After reviewing medical records, a legal nurse consultant can evaluate the delivery of healthcare. They will then opine whether the health outcome at issue was related to the standard of care not being met. A legal nurse consultant may provide a report that chronicles points from the medical records or discuss issues with treatment . They can even define deviations from and adherences to the applicable standards of care. Additionally, a legal nurse consultant can determine the arguments in favor of and against the finding that the standard of care was met.
#3: Legal Nurse Consultants Determine Proximate Cause
A legal nurse consultant can help your legal team determine proximate cause. Proximate cause is also known as the legal cause of an injury. It is the incident that produces particular, foreseeable consequences without the intervention of any independent or unforeseeable cause. By researching and summarizing medical and nursing literature, a legal nurse consultant can identify factors that caused or contributed to the alleged damages injuries. This can quickly point your legal team to the proximate cause of the injury at issue.
#4: Legal Nurse Consultants Assess Damages
After reviewing all the medical records and researching healthcare literature, a legal nurse consultant can opine on whether all the elements are present for a viable medical case. This saves attorneys valuable time, energy, and money. Additionally, their background enables them to distinguish pre-existing injuries from those arising from specific events. They will also understand causation and future ramifications of injuries and illnesses. Furthermore, a legal nurse consultant can identify additional potential plaintiffs or defendants.
#5: Legal Nurse Consultants Assist with Case Strategy
A legal nurse consultant is an invaluable assistant throughout litigation. They screen cases for merit, review medical records, research medical issues, prepare reports and summaries on the extent of injury or illness, assist with discovery, and work with testifying expert witnesses. The witness could be a psychology expert witness, an infectious disease and communicable disease expert witness, or a pharmacy expert witness. Altogether, their attention to detail, experience with the healthcare industry, familiarity with medical terminology, and medical expertise assist attorneys throughout the litigation process. A legal nurse consultant supplements an attorney’s knowledge. They utilize their expertise on nursing and healthcare systems to achieve a favorable outcome for the client.