Posted on January 17, 2024
Curiosity struck me in 2022 when I first pondered the concept of being a Legal Nurse Consultant. Was it a legitimate profession, or merely a novel idea? Fast forward to 2024, and my perspective has evolved. Legal nurse consultants (LNCs) play a crucial role in the legal circles of many high-volume legal practices. Despite being established as a profession in 1989 by a group of visionary nurses, LNCs offer their expertise to attorneys, particularly in assessing whether the standard of care has deviated.
The turning point came in the 2004 Illinois Supreme Court case Sullivan v. Edward Hospital, where the utilization of a nurse as an expert witness showcased the value of their input in discussing deviations from care standards. As we delve into the services that nurses can provide to the legal profession, it becomes evident that LNCs are hidden gems, offering valuable insights to enhance your legal practice. Join me on this journey to uncover the multifaceted contributions of Legal Nurse Consultants.
Legal Nurse Consultant and Services
An LNC is a Registered Nurse (RN) with a minimum of 5 years’ experience in their specialty such as Intensive care, Medical–Surgical, or a Nursing Home. As a Legal Nurse Consultant (LNC) our goal is to bridge the gap between the medical and legal profession. We are committed to assisting legal professionals in navigating the complexities of medical charts and terminology that will arise during pre-suit and/or litigation. Areas of legal practice an LNC can play a vital role either behind the scenes or as the expert witness include, but are not limited to, medical malpractice, personal injury, worker’s compensation, product liability, toxic tort, forensics, nursing home cases, etc.
Two of the more common services are medical record review with chronological order or case summary. For companies that need an understanding and/or synopsis of medical records LNCs are perfect to hire. There is also the time-saving value when an LNC can review medical records, and provide the summary and/or chronology, in much less time and with accuracy than the attorney or his personnel.
Another interesting service an LNC provides is attending the Independent Medical Examination (IME). An IME is a medical assessment conducted by a healthcare professional who has not previously administered care to the patient and hired by defense counsel. While the objective of an IME is to offer an impartial medical perspective on the patient's existing condition and past treatment, this is rarely the case. The LNC would attend the IME and may be allowed to audio and/or videotape the examination, observe the entire examination, and report back to counsel the events. The IME report can also be viewed by the LNC for the accuracy of events observed.
As an LNC I will grow and adapt to the intricate world of legal cases. As noted, we as LNCs can provide a range of services such as medical record reviews, independent medical examinations, and much more. With these services, nurses can support legal strategies, strengthen arguments, and ultimately pave the way for successful outcomes.
If you're a company, consider the profound impact that an LNC can have on your cases. Whether seeking comprehensive analysis through medical record reviews or an unbiased assessment via an independent medical examination, Jackson’s Legal Nursing Group LLC is here to support your legal journey.
Contact us today at (904) 701-8489, and let's discuss how we can enhance your legal strategies and secure justice for your clients. Your success is our priority, and we're ready to be your trusted consultant in the pursuit of justice.