Aren’t all medico-legal reports the same?

Christine Mercer

QLD State & Legal Manager

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Aren't all medico-legal reports the same

The short answer is NO.

But why?

We all understand the issue of the supportive/ non-supportive medico-legal report but the standard of the report you receive should go further than that.

 

Standards of medico-legal reports

What about the underlying standard of the content of that medico-legal report?

Have you received medico-legal reports with mistakes in them? Typos, incorrect dates, client name spelt incorrectly, date of birth wrong, phrases that just don’t read correctly, right & left stated wrong?
These things may not seem critical and as personal injury lawyers, we may just fume and think we have to just leave them.

But then what if the issues are serious:– all of your questions have not been answered, the expert has made a controversial comment, or stated a fact about the liability issues that are at odds with your case, commented outside their expertise, got the AMA impairment assessment wrong?

This is when it starts to get critical. Undermining your case, the veracity of the report, it starts to cost time & money to correct those mistakes in supplementary reports.

But how do you address this?

The problem is doctors are not lawyers with finely honed evidence skills.

So how do we bridge that gap between medicine and the law?

 

Medico-legal reports with quality assurance

This is what Lex Medicus do. Our pioneering, unique quality assurance process provides that legal input into every medico-legal report.

Headed up by a senior personal injury lawyer, with experienced QA consultants who are all legally and medically trained, we can cast that legal eye over EVERY report, to ensure it is robust, high quality and accurate.

EVERY medico-legal report, not a sample goes through our QA process.

 

What does a quality assured report mean?

1. The right expert for your case

The QA process begins at the initial request. We personalise/ tailor the brief with our extensive bank of medico-legal experts, looking at the nature of the injury and your request. Our highly experienced Customer Care team will ensure the correct expert is instructed.

Getting the right medico-legal expert means that you get a strong opinion straight away, without having to try and patch up gaps with additional experts.

2. Accuracy of medico-legal reports

QA become involved in the briefing process. We analyse the lawyer’s brief and begin the cross-checking of the facts.
We check the list of enclosures – to ensure all the documents are provided, accurately dated and described.

This means Lex Medicus’ medico-legal experts are happy with the briefs they receive, they are not chasing you for missing documents or ones they cannot find as they have been incorrectly detailed.

The advantage for lawyers with this pre-report QA is that we are identifying potentially costly mistakes for the case preparation, ones that get perpetuated through the case to lists of documents and court bundles.

You can be assured that the documents listed in the report are accurate and have been viewed by the medico-legal expert, not the risk that down the line supplemental reports are required to get experts to consider documents that were missed out.

EVERY report prepared by a Lex Medicus medico-legal expert goes through our QA process before it is released to the lawyer.

This QA process is not just a spell and grammar check. At Lex Medicus, we check the content to ensure there are no factual errors that may undermine a case, that there are no statements that could undermine the opinion. We ensure all the issues are addressed and all questions answered.

We ensure our medico-legal expert will provide a compelling report that will be robust on cross-examination.

Because of our working relationship with the medico-legal experts, we are able to liaise with them to ensure they produce robust and accurate reports. And because of our legal knowledge of evidence, we are able to advise the experts to ensure the reports are evidentially correct for the case.

 

3. Reduces the need for supplementary reports

QA removes the risk of low-quality medico-legal reports for lawyers – the risk to the case, wasted time and costs, the lawyer’s relationship with the client because of issues with an expert.

 

4. Evidential training of the medico-legal experts

Lex Medicus medico-legal experts are expert witnesses. They have been trained to understand the evidence and the issues in a personal injury case.

Lex Medicus is more than just a medico-legal report provider. We are legal and medical specialists who understand and care about each and every case. Quality is in our DNA. Lex Medicus is showing the legal fraternity what a medico-legal report should look like.

Bridging the gap between medicine and the law.

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