We are all guilty of living with the status quo. Better the devil you know and all that. But there comes a time when even risk-averse lawyers have to take a risk on a new expert witness.
As a personal injury lawyer running cases at volume, it is easy to just stay with the tried and tested. To stay with medico-legal experts that are the same ones your firm has always used. You know what you are getting, you know how that expert witness would perform in court – well you hope you do! But like anything in life, things can change in a heartbeat (as we all know only too well in the current times). Law firms have had to future plan to ensure systems continue to operate in the covid world, but has this also thrown up other operational issues around your expert witnesses?
Expert witness risk management strategy
Is it time to consider having a risk management strategy for your medico-legal experts, to deal with unforeseen events or even those quite foreseeable events? Have you considered what would happen to your cases if something did happen to your expert; the expert becomes sick, passes away, retires, gets struck off? What if your expert witness suffers an unfavourable challenge to their opinion in court and their reputation suffers, what if your expert does change their usually sympathetic views?
There are also the day-to-day challenges you experience now, with a lack of availability for experts, causing delays in your cases.
As the old saying goes – having all your eggs in one basket is never a good thing. Yet as personal injury lawyers placing all our faith in one expert, all of the time, has become common practice. Is it the good old fear of the unknown?
In a world where change is inevitable, having a backup plan for your expert witnesses should be as important as the other business continuity plans and is crucial for your clients.
The problem is; unless you plan for this event it could become a critical issue very quickly, impacting your client’s cases, on claim time limits, with the knock-on effect on your firms’ cash flow and the potential for client complaints.
Expert witness list
The expert witness list should form part of any law firms’ risk management strategy.
So how do you plan for this? As you would for any insurance plan – prepare:
- Identify some alternative experts;
- Try the experts out;
- Before it becomes an issue.
The only certainty in life is that things change, progress happens, expert witnesses come and go. The unchanging fact is; the personal injury lawyers’ need for good medico-legal experts.
The lesson from this is: address the risk management of your expert list now before it becomes an issue.
You never know you may find a great expert.
Lex Medicus expert witnesses
Take the risk out of that risk by using Lex Medicus. We have highly experienced, tried and tested expert witnesses. To back up those experts, behind every report we have a team of legally and medically trained Quality Assurance consultants. They review and check every report for compliance and admissibility of the facts and opinions expressed, to ensure every report is robust and is fit for purpose and accords with the instructions received.
Lex Medicus is more than your medico-legal report broker.