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5 Reasons Why Your Team Needs a Legal Nurse Consultant

A legal nurse consultant is a registered nurse who consults on medical-related legal cases such as medical malpractice, wrongful death, personal injury, product liability, workers' compensation, toxic tort and elder law.  Because of their clinical training a legal nurse consultant can effectively and efficiently aid a trial team by consulting and educating clients on specific medical and nursing issues in their cases.  Law firms, insurance companies, employers, nursing homes and rehabilitation facilities are increasingly employing legal nurse consultants--some as full time in-house employees.

#1:  Legal Nurse Consultants Tackle Medical Records

Reviewing healthcare records is arduous and time-consuming.  For those unfamiliar with the healthcare industry understanding the terminology, intricacies and collection processes of medical records can be daunting to impossible.  Legal nurse consultants provide critical value to attorneys through their ability to thoroughly and professionally analyze healthcare records and medical literature.  Using their clinical experience, nursing expertise and familiarity with healthcare systems legal nurse consultants note missing documents, flag inconsistencies and construct a comprehensive and easily digestible summary of the medical issues.

#2:  Legal Nurse Consultants Evaluate Standards of Care

After reviewing medical records a legal nurse consultant can evaluate the delivery of healthcare and give an opinion whether the health outcome at issue was due to unmet standards of care.  Reports are provided to chronicle the key points from the records, discuss issues with treatment and pathology and define deviation from and adherence to the applicable standard or care.  Additionally, a legal nurse consultant can determine the arguments both for and against stating that the standard of care was met.

#3:  Legal Nurse Consultants Illuminate Proximate Cause

​A legal nurse consultant can help your legal team determine causation.  By researching and summarizing medical and nursing literature a legal nurse consultant can identify factors that initiated or contributed to the alleged damages--quickly pointing your legal team to the proximate cause of the injury at issue.

#4:  Legal Nurse Consultants Assess Damages

After reviewing all the medical records and researching healthcare literature a legal nurse consultant provides an opinion as to elements present for a viable medical case; this saves the attorney valuable time, energy and money.  Additionally, their background enables them to distinguish pre-existing injuries from those arising from the events in question.  A legal nurse consultant can also identify other potential plaintiffs or defendants.

#5:  Legal Nurse Consultants Assist with Case Strategy

A legal nurse consultant is a valuable assist throughout litigation.  They screen cases for merit, review medical records, research medical issues, prepare reports and summaries on the extent of injury or illness, assist with discovery and work with testifying expert witnesses from any of the vast array of clinical specialties.  Their attention to detail, experience with the healthcare industry and familiarity with medical terminology supports the attorney throughout the litigation process.  A legal nurse consultant supplements an attorney's knowledge adding familiarity with the nursing process and healthcare systems to achieve the most favorable outcome for the client.