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Have you ever heard of a legal nurse consultant? Did you know that they’re a key resource that works closely with over 1,300,000 U.S. lawyers? These nurses bring their professional expertise to cases that impact someone’s health.
Keep reading to learn why legal nurse consultants are an invaluable part of the legal team.
What is a Legal Nurse Consultant (LNC)?
It’s estimated that there are about 20,000 malpractice suits filed in the U.S. annually. This may involve accusations of negligence or harm to a patient.
Lawyers are experts on the rules of law. Many specialize in specific areas and gain further knowledge in that specialty. Yet, it’s hard to maintain cutting-edge knowledge about the medical field.
LNCs combine their years of hands-on healthcare experience with additional legal training. This gives them an understanding of the law as it relates to medical cases. These professionals bring a unique skill set to medical case preparation.
So, how can an LNC benefit your case?
Optimize Case Preparation
LNCs draw on professional experience and understanding of the healthcare system. They prepare questions that will reap relevant data when conducting interviews. These nurses also know what to look for when researching and reviewing medical records.
They’ll organize key evidence and screen cases as well. All these tasks are part of case preparation, but LNCs expedite the process. It’s more time-intensive for lawyers and legal staff to find this key data.
Using an LNC provides optimal output in less time. We all understand that saving time also reduces costs.
Often, there’s pressure to complete pre-trial preparation quickly. By dividing the tasks among trusted team members attorneys meet deadlines and are well prepared.
The LNC manages record reviews, interviews, and research. They’re part of a network that’s readily accessible to assist with the litigation process as needed. This allows the attorney to focus on strategic case planning.
Provide Healthcare Expertise
Every nurse is proficient in medical terminology and interpreting medical records and documents. Medical professionals have their own language that outsiders often don’t understand. LNCs also possess a deeper appreciation for the ramifications of specific data.
This takes a broad knowledge of anatomy, physiology, and drug and disease interactions. To an outsider, a headache may be just a common problem. Combined with other symptoms and medications it can represent a significant health risk.
This in-depth understanding allows LNCs to identify vital data that others would overlook. Now the attorney has a more complete story to work with. This allows them to prepare the strongest case possible.
LNCs Can Serve as Expert Witnesses
Registered nurses’ education and hands-on experiences qualify them to be medical expert witnesses. They understand medical equipment, processes, procedures, techniques, and methods.
All expert witnesses follow a methodical approach for data collection and fact-finding. They adhere to an impartial, evidence-based standard when testifying. LNCs convert complex medical facts into meaningful information for the court and jury.
LNC Work Settings
While many law firms use legal nurse consulting, this isn’t the only industry in which they work. You’ll find LNCs assisting healthcare providers, government agencies, and insurance companies. They also serve as experts for pharmaceutical companies and healthcare systems.
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