When a lawyer takes on a medical-related lawsuit, the attorney is confronted with enormous volumes of medical records crammed with esoteric terminology, inexplicable shorthand and indecipherable handwriting. Yet his client’s (plaintiff or defense) future is determined by the attorney understanding those records and taking advantage of these to keep the case effectively. That’s why Certified Legal Nurse Consultant services will be the healthiest thing that will ever afflict an attorney’s practice.
Total confidence within the services and support supplied by Legal Nurse Consulting is particularly important when taking on a formidable opponent, say for example a major international corporation. Bob Young, an attorney with English, Lucas, Priest and Owsley, a major accidental injuries firm in south central Kentucky, faced this challenge when he accepted the case of Heather Norman.*
In 2001, the 12-year-old was severely burned within a car accident that killed her mother and brother. “The truck’s side-saddle gasoline tanks exploded upon impact,” Young says, “leaving Heather with second and third degree burns over 25% of her body, including her back, chest, arms, hands and face. She had three surgeries to receive skin grafts and underwent numerous other medical procedures. She spent three weeks inside the hospital, plus greater than a month as an out patient receiving daily wound care and occupational therapy.” Young filed a products liability suit up against the truck manufacturer on Heather’s behalf.
Medical cases like this can generate 1000s of pages of records. “Generally If I make an effort to search through the records and placed together a summary,” says Young, “it might or may not be accurate. I’m not trained in the medical field. It makes sense to get someone with medical training glance at the records and decipher the most important information.”
Young uses the assistance of Gina Rogers, RN, CLNC for cases like Heather’s. “My assignment,” says Rogers, “ended up being to document this child’s suffering and pain. As well as summarizing the records, I made the decision ‘a picture is worth one thousand words.’ I created a detailed graph of her body indicating all of the burns and skin grafts. My completed graph revealed that there was hardly an undamaged place on her body.”
“Two major factors in cases like this,” says Young, “were the enormous suffering and pain Heather had to cope with along with the problems she would face in the foreseeable future. Gina established every one of the pain dexupky35 my client received through the 3 weeks she is at a medical facility. Gina also prepared a comprehensive selection of Heather’s potential future medical problems.”
As an alternative to sending the defendant thousands of pages of medical records, Young sent them Gina’s report, such as the dramatic graph from the plaintiff’s injuries. “Gina’s work was actually a significant section of the settlement brochure,” he says. The way it is settled for an undisclosed amount.
Consulting a completely independent Certified Legal Nurse Consultant Is Like Using a Nurse on Staff Without the Full-time Expense – During the last 36 months Young has used Rogers’ services on just about every medical-related case. “It’s just like having a nurse on staff without the full-time expense,” he says. “It is essential Gina does is help me screen each case to find out if it’s worth taking. In each and every medical negligence case you will need to retain a medical professional to testify towards the standards of care. After Gina reviews the truth, we discuss if they should retain a really expensive MD. Often we decide to not take that next step. Whenever we do use the case, Gina includes a network of doctors so she helps me discover the expert, too.”