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When Does A Case Need A Legal Nurse?
Before deciding if a case is in need of a legal nurse you should know what a legal nurse is. A Certified Legal Nurse consultant (CLNC) is a registered nurse who has expertise as a healthcare professional plus specialized training to consult on medical-related cases in which injury is a factor. An CLN's expertise in understanding medical records and the terminology and subtleties of healthcare issues can help to achieve the best results for attorneys and their clients (Vickie Milazzo Institute Certified Legal Nurse Consultant Program).
There are 2 key things to remember about a legal nurse.
1. An CLNC does not give out legal or medical advice
2. An CLNC evaluates the case from a nursing perspective to determine whether or not the nursing standards of care were or were not violated
(Find Legal Nurse Consultants To Review Your Case – Hospice Patients Alliance)
When clients come to you with a potential personal injury or malpractice case, the expertise of a CLNC is definitely worth considering. Getting the clinical perspective from a professional can help determine the strengths and weaknesses of the case medically. Of course, a legal nurse may also determine that there's not a case at all.
While working on the case, legal nurses identify key people in the case and help determine what their professional standards of care are according to the organization that accredits them. When a case would benefit from an expert witness, legal nurses can work with the attorney to find the right expert witness to address any questions regarding the issues of the case.
Much as with any preparation prior to a legal proceeding one of the most important factors is documentation. In a medical case complete copies of medical records are essential. That will allow a CLNC to review the case properly. CLNC's also find the key facts for a case from school records, employment records, known experience, and more.
Before proceeding with a case for medical malpractice, negligence, personal injury, or other instances where health is involved, a CLNC will need to review the medical records and provide an opinion as to possible issues, and standard or substandard quality of care (Combine Nursing and the Law through Legal Nurse Consulting, Meghan Persichino, RN, BSN, LNC nursing spectrum).
There are circumstances that require very specific type of CLNC's but for the most part, some of the general services provided are:
• Screening of cases for strengths and weaknesses.
• Identification of prior medical conditions.
• Organization and summarization of medical records.
• Identify missing records and tampering issues.
• Schedule/attend independent medical exams.
• Identify causation and contributing factors of injuries.
• Develop questions for interrogatories and depositions.
CLNC's are more affordable than physicians for testimony, and if the case needs to go to a physician, the CLNC's summary of the case will help the physician understand the pertinent details contained in the records. And thanks to a strong network of professionals and colleagues in the industry, a CLNC can also suggest experts who can build the strongest possible case to help your clients get the outcome they seek.
About the Author: By Juriscope, provider of legal nurse consultants to help clients put together necessary information for medical cases.