Experienced injury attorneys have to know a lot about medicine. It is impossible for me to competently help my badly injured clients unless I fully understand and can explain to either insurance companies or juries the full effects and impacts of my client’s injuries.
I spend a lot of time researching injuries, their consequences, the impact of those injuries on other parts of the body, and the cause of those injuries – Danny Glover
However, sometimes my clients are injured in ways that are beyond my understanding, or they are injured so significantly that I cannot be sure of their prognosis or the likelihood of full of partial recovery.
In those cases I hire a nurse consultant or another doctor to help me understand the injuries, or what the future holds for my clients, or to simply help me speak the treating physician’s language so that the treating physician can provide the necessary reports or testimony to make sure that the responsible person or insurance company is held accountable.
Sometimes I use nurse consultants. These nurses review the medical records and summarize them for me.
They also point out problematic issues that I need to address, such as medical record errors, or the lack of certain necessary tests, or the failure of the physicians to fully appreciate important aspects of the case.
Sometimes I send nurses to my client’s medical appointments to observe and/or communicate directly with the doctor, in the same way that worker’s compensation insurance companies send nurses. Nurses are often very valuable members of my legal team.
In other cases I may actually hire doctors of the same specialty as my client’s treating physicians. While much more expensive than simply hiring nurses, it is frequently well worth the expenditure. In one case a few years ago, I was having problems communicating with my client’s doctor, and in the limited conversations I had with the doctor, I was having a hard time getting the doctor to understand the legalese necessary for him to help his patient and my client with his case.
As a result, the insurance company continued to deny the claim because I was unable to provide the magic forms and reports that the insurance company was requiring (which is code for the insurance company simply using any excuse possible to deny the claim). I hired an orthopedic doctor to consult with me.
That doctor reviewed all of my client’s medical records and films and then educated me – from Point A to Point Z – about how physicians would view the chain of medical events from the day of my client’s wreck until the present day. With that specific micro-medical education in hand, I was then able to effectively communicate with my client’s doctor to obtain the medical testimony necessary to force the insurance company to pay what it legally owed on the claim.
So, when choosing an attorney to handle your injury case, make sure that you choose an attorney who not only knows the law, but also knows the medicine involved in your case, or the experts who can educate the lawyer about the medicine in your case.