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A legal nurse consultant is an individual with expertise in both nursing and the law. This specially trained nurse assists those involved in the litigation process by acting as a bridge between the worlds of law and medicine.

While there is no accurate count available, there are close to 3600 members of the American Association of Legal Nurse Consultants, the largest organization of legal nurse consultants.

Nurses in this field work with primarily defense and plaintiff attorneys, insurance companies, and the court system. They are also employed by healthcare facilities to provide risk prevention services.

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Med League Legal Nurse Consultant works with plaintiff and defense attorneys who are handling personal injury, medical malpractice, products liability and criminal cases. We have clients in 39 states and have been in business since 1989.

No, we will assist an attorney once the injured patient has decided to seek the services of an attorney.

We do not provide referral services but would suggest that a patient contacts the local bar association for a recommendation of an attorney, or speak to friends and associates for a recommendation.

We help attorneys who have been approached by a person who believes that malpractice has been committed by the healthcare providers. After the attorney has obtained the records, we review them and offer a screening opinion on the merits of the case. Our physician consultant provides an opinion based on their years of screening medical malpractice cases. He/She reviews cases involving most areas of medicine. The attorney may then chose to use our services to locate an expert witness to provide a more detailed review of the case.

The economics of screening a malpractice case suggest that it is far less expensive to use our service than to send the case directly to an expert witness to review. A physician who acts as an expert witness charges $350-$500 or more per hour to screen a case. Our hourly rate is a fraction of that. In order to win a malpractice case (obtain a settlement or trial verdict), the patient (plaintiff) has to prove four things:

  • The healthcare provider had a duty to provide care.
  • The standard of care was not followed.
  • The patient suffered some type of injury.
  • It was the deviation from the standard of care that caused the injury to the patient

Most of the cases that we review do not contain all four of these elements. It becomes very expensive to refer every case to an expert witness to review when our physician or a nurse can analyze the four elements of the case instead.

The nurse is better able to read and interpret medical records than the typical attorney. Nurses are used to physician’s handwriting, medical terminology, and abbreviations. We can spot the significant clinical information that may not be noticed by the attorney. A summary provides a concise snapshot of the significant information that will affect the claim.

We have created a unique type of expert witness role called the expert fact witness.After reading the plaintiff’s medical records, we prepare a narrative report and figures which define the pain and suffering that the records state the plaintiff experienced as a result of either a personal injury or medical malpractice incident. Our testimony is then used in the courtroom to educate the jury. Although most of these cases have settled, this testimony has been used in a number of trials so far.

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