Medical Insurance Expert On Using Legal Nurse Consultants

In Using A LNC As A Expert Fact Witness, medical insurance expert witness Ms. Kathy G. Ferrell, BS, RN, LNCC writes:

Although treating physicians have an understanding of the care given to a patient, they seldom have the time to read a medical record from start to finish. Even if requested to do so by the attorney, the demands on a physician’s time prevent him from having the needed hours to read a medical record and provide the attorney with a detailed report of the care given to a patient. Even if the physician was able to perform this service, the cost would be prohibitive for many plaintiff or defense attorneys.

Family members are often acutely aware of the care received by the patient, but have no knowledge of its significance and are unable to explain the reasons for such care to a judge or jury. On the other hand, the legal nurse consultant (LNC) has the special knowledge, training and skill to educate the triers of fact about the care given to a patient as documented in the medical record. This can be extremely important in very complex and lengthy medical cases. The LNC serving as a fact witness does not express opinions about the quality of care or the treatment given, but educates the judge and jury on the care given and the patient’s response to this care.

In this role, the LNC evaluates, summarizes and explains the contents of the medical record. The LNC then produces a report for the hiring attorney. The LNC in this role most often gives testimony as to the facts of the case at mediation or deposition. Her testimony aids in understanding the extent of patient’s injuries, treatments, pain and suffering.