Welcome to Independent Health Care. Our site is dedicated to providing you with useful information on medico-legal reports. We also provide details about how you can work with expert witnesses and medico-legal agencies to obtain the evidence you need to prove your case.
We’ve included some more information below about how we can help you. However, if you have any questions or would like us to help you instruct a medical expert, contact us today.
What Is A Medico Legal Report?
Medico-legal reports are documents that details the written evidence of a medical expert witness. The report will contain information on how the claimant sustained their injuries, how serious they are, and whether or not they’ll recover.
A medical report serves as a key piece of evidence in a claim relating to injury. Without the ability to prove that the injuries were, on the balance of probabilities, caused by the accident, and with no knowledge of the severity of those injuries, it can be difficult to firstly prove a claim, and secondly, to judge how much it’s worth.
The Role Of Medico-Legal Expert Witnesses
Medical expert witnesses play a vital role in helping claimants prove their claims, as well as helping defendants challenge the opinions of experts with who they disagree.
As we’ve explained above, a report provides key evidence on a principle known as causation. This principle considers whether the injuries were caused in a manner consistent with the accident.
For example, if there are question marks surrounding the circumstances of the accident and the manner in which the injuries were sustained, a medical report can help bring clarity.
Not every doctor or specialist can conduct this kind of work. A medico-legal expert witness needs to have undergone specialist training in legal procedures, namely the Civil Procedure Rules.
They’ll also need to carry professional indemnity insurance to protect them in cases where a party litigates against them.
What Does The Process Of Medico-Legal Report Writing Involve?
The process of medico-legal report writing is quite straightforward. This does, however, depend upon the nature of injuries and specialism required. The process generally involves:
- Finding the right expert for you. While one expert may appear appropriate in terms of specialism, they may not be located close to your client.
- Once you’ve found the right expert, they require an instruction letter. This will contain details of the accident, the injuries sustained, and a request for the expert to provide their opinion in the form of a report.
- Along with the instruction letter, it’s necessary to send all relevant medical records pertaining to the claimant.
- Arrangements will then be made for the assessment to take place. Depending on the nature of the injuries, the assessment may involve x-rays, CT scans or MRI scans, as well as the likes of blood tests.
- After a short period—usually a month or so, depending on the expert—a report will be produced.
Is It Necessary To Work With A Medico-Legal Expert?
You may be wondering whether your case needs expert medical evidence. If the claimant has sustained injuries, either physical or mental, evidence is necessary to prove the harm suffered.
To present a claim to a defendant without any evidence to substantiate the harm suffered, it’s unlikely they’ll entertain the claim at all until such evidence is provided.
Therefore, it becomes necessary to work with experts for the purpose of obtaining medico-legal reports.
The Role Of Medico-Legal Agencies
With a busy case-load of hundreds of files and looming deadlines, solicitors can have a tough time finding the medical expert they require.
An initial search on Google may lead them down a wormhole as they look for experts in the claimant’s close proximity, as well as finding experts who offer medico-legal services. This can be even harder if you require a niche specialism.
Pages on search engines may be outdated. Experts may have retired or no longer conduct medico-legal work. This can lead to frustration, dead ends, and delays in the progression of a case.
Medico-legal agencies, however, can solve a lot of these headaches. They possess extensive and regularly updated networks of experts, covering all manner of fields. If there are no relevant experts in the claimant’s area, they can sometimes work with the closest expert to facilitate that client’s needs.
Medical agencies can also help with the payment of reports. Again, depending on the specialism, the cost of a report could run into the thousands. Most experts if instructed directly will expect payment before releasing the report. However, this places a financial burden on the claimant or the law firm.
Instead, a medical agency can pay for the report upfront, deferring payment to the claimant until the claim draws to a conclusion.
How Independent Health Care Can Help
Independent Health Care can help you obtain medico-legal reports from the expert that your case needs.
We can help you connect with experts by utilising our extensive network. And we can provide advice and guidance on working with medico-legal experts.