Medical malpractice litigation is stressful for clients and lawyers, which can result in not achieving the best case outcomes; but there is another way, according to Amy Dennerlein, the Director of Medical-Legal Solutions at Exigent. Our medical malpractice experts can help.
There are 850,000 medical negligence claims made in the US every year. Sounds like a staggering amount, but when you consider that medical errors are the third leading cause of death after heart disease and cancer and that one baby is born with some form of birth injury every three hours, perhaps we’re not as litigious a nation as we’re reputed to be.
Of these claims, only a small single-figure percentage ever go to court – the majority are settled pretrial. And with good reason – going to trial can take a long time – and you don’t always get the results you expect. Unless you have access to medical malpractice experts who can assess your case and advise on whether it’s worth pursuing from the start. Having a legal nurse consultant on your side from the outset can help you save time and money by providing expertise that can make or break a case.
Without medical malpractice experts’ support, clients can find the processes of litigation almost as stressful as the accident or injury itself. Part of the stress around medical negligence or tort litigation is caused unintentionally, by the lawyers themselves. Lawyers are, by their very nature, busy individuals; there’s always another case, always more research, always more document writing and case notes that need attention. Clients, especially those involved in injury cases, are often already feeling stressed and unwell. Attempting to bring that combination together for a successful case outcome is challenging to say the least.
Another aspect is that, while lawyers have a positive intention and want to help their injury clients, it’s their job to focus on winning cases, and they don’t have access to the medical resources that could significantly reduce the stress of the process and increase damage awards so that the full costs of care (and loss) can be covered.
But lawyers receive little guidance on how to work with clients who have experienced injury, and who may need a different style of approach in order to get the most satisfactory outcome. Most health law focuses solely on regulatory issues and most torts or personal injury cases focus on analyzing the logic behind court decisions about injury claims.
To get the most benefit for clients, lawyers need to also understand other valuable medical skills such as compassionate client interview skills, knowledge of medical malpractice experts’ and ‘second opinion’ case reviews by seasoned medical professionals with knowledge of the appropriate standard of care. Even a relevant specialist referral can mean a world of difference for a client.
But even the most successful lawyers struggle to fit all this into their medical-legal practice and understanding. That’s why using legal nurse practitioners can mean the difference between winning and losing, or thousands or even millions of dollars in compensation. It can also severely decrease the stress on both the client and the legal team.
An external team of highly qualified nurses and case assessment experts can help you find the right specialist for your case. Attorneys often choose the wrong specialist – through no fault of their own; merely a lack of invaluable knowledge (which experienced legal nurses have) that comes from three decades of working in hospitals. This means opportunities are lost and victims under-compensated or cases dismissed.
Providing insightful, experienced and educated professional medical resources can help medical-legal cases feel more like a form of extended care for the client than a tiring and seemingly endless fight.