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How's a Lawyer to Know What Medical Help They Need?

Oct 31, 2018

  • Legal professionals often find themselves with complicated medical questions as part of their cases
  • You can avoid obvious pitfalls in your cases by taking the time to enlist expert medical advice
  • There are many services available tailored to make your legal work easier, stronger, and more accurate

In the course of practising law, you’ll fight case after case with medical angles. A person’s got an injury, perhaps through work or through an accident where another party may be liable. An insurance claim is denied, and the appeals have made it all the way to the legal level. Or a wrongful dismissal charge rests on the existence of an illness.

As a lawyer, you aren’t familiar with the intricacies of medicine. These are complex questions, and there are so many places you could make a simple mistake that jeopardizes the entire case.

At these times, you’ll want to reach out to expert medical help — but this can take many forms. What you need is going to depend on what your situation is. Do you expect it to go to court, or is an early settlement an option? Who are you representing? Is the medical aspect a core part of the case, or more parenthetical?

We’ll go through three important services lawyers may find themselves needing:

  • Independent Medical Examinations to obtain clarity on medical issues — fast
  • Document Reviews to help build your strategy
  • Coaching to prepare you for any number of legal situations

But there’s plenty more to discover elsewhere on our website!

Independent Medical Examinations for Lawyers

An Independent Medical Examination (IME) involves a medical specialist being brought in to take an independent look at a person's complaints.

You gain the benefits of having a medical professional with specific expertise in the type of injury or illness provide their more qualified opinion.

You’ll get detail you may be lacking, more information on the extent of the injury or illness, a prognosis for recovery, and the assurance that you’ve obtained the most accurate picture available — all invaluable in court.

IMEs also provide a speedy answer, allowing you to bypass normal wait times in the public health care system. If you’re dealing with an illness or injury and you have reason to believe that the facts may be different to the way you’re seeing them presented or just need additional confirmation and assurance that they are what they seem, an IME could be vital to obtaining the appropriate clarity.

Create your Strategy with Document Reviews

Legal issues often involve a huge amount of paperwork — and medical issues often involve a lot of technical language and knowledge.

A document review allows you to take stock of the information you have and understand what’s important, what's not, and what’s suspect. Are there gaps in your case that could be accounted for before they’re called out? Are there facts from which you can build your entire case? Take the time to get this right at the earliest stages, in private.

Whether it’s a toxicology report, a literature review, a WCB challenge, or something else on your desk, the right medical advice and interpretation could be the difference between letting yourself become overwhelmed by a sea of information — and putting together a strong, confident case.

Get your facts right at this stage, and you’ll have an advantageous edge when it comes to building your strategy. You may even be able to negotiate an early settlement.

Prepare for Questionings / Discoveries / Trials with Medical Coaching

Are you going to let yourself get steamrolled by a more prepared opposition? Obviously not. So how you do you get prepared when you’re not an expert in medical issues?

Engage with a someone who is. You’ve got the legal mind, so combine it with a medical expert — preferably one who’s had experience doing this kind of consulting before — and you’ll be able to benefit from their expertise and construct a solid, well-rounded approach.

This will save you and your staff all that time you might otherwise spend pouring through  documents that you don’t understand, and just get you advice relevant to the case and the circumstances. You’ll be able to run through different scenarios and ensure you’ve got the case covered from all angles.

When a case rests on the medical issue, why settle for anything less than a medical expert?

Where to Find Medical Help You Can Rely On

At Western Medical Assessments, we’ve helped countless lawyers get the clarified information and preparation they need. When it comes to Independent Medical Assessments alone, we’ve handled more than 63,000 cases of many different types.

If you’ve got a tough case on your desk, there's seasoned expertise available!. Give Medical Director Dr. Roger Hodkinson a quick, no-obligation call at 780.433.1191. He’s always happy to share his decades of experience with lawyers looking to better understand their cases.

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