Personal Injury litigation has a great need for Certified Legal Nurse Consultants. Today’s Webinar was hosted by Vickie Milazzo and Barbara Goldstein, and we were Live on Zoom Webinar. This group mentoring activity is useful learning for providing attorney-clients with good service, and ideas for marketing to the Personal Injury Specialty.
Brief Synopsis of Events
Goldstein explains that the initial Personal Injury case review for a CLNC is typically 3-5 hours, and roughly 3-5 pages are prepared. The nurse hired for this role summarizes the pertinent elements of a case to provide quick reference materials for busy attorneys. A synopsis is used during prelitigation to get an overview, then expanded upon in the event it goes to trial. There are a range of damages covered, along with post-injury complaints. Often there is a lack of objective evidence, and a professional nurse is able to provide this with more certainty. Causation of the injury related to the event are concerns Goldstein addresses in her report, along with any missing records, any gaps of treatment and an evaluation of the medical bills. CLNC contractors would then offer an opinion and request any additional information needed in order to form a reliable recommendation.
One case review Goldstein referred to was a gentleman who rode his scooter into the elevator door and eventually died. The scooter had been recalled, and the patient had a history of trigger finger which caused the injury. This information uncovered relieved the elevator company of liability, and was a small example of how vast the needs are for CLNC in the Personal Injury Arena.
Chronologies for Trial
If the case is not settled in pre-litigation, the CLNC works to provide attorney-clients with a more in depth review. This accounts for the story of the patient’s injuries in a more meticulous way. One of the tools Goldstein used is called a chronology. This detailed review requires a more in depth study of the records, and plots on a graph to get a picture of all the remote history of the patient. This is where a CLNC service may be priceless for a case, although there are many attorneys who tend to wing it on their own. A nurse will be able to give light to potential disasters in litigation to protect their client. In one instance, Goldstein provided the information needed to exclude erroneous charges being added to the case for psychotropics the patient was already taking prior to claiming the personal injury resulted in the emotional trauma.
Some of these areas are so subjective that a nurse who understands care planning, medication reconciliation and the nursing cycle in multiple areas of health care. Attorneys could waste a lot of time trying to figure out insignificant pieces of information while the smoking gun for the case is missed due to not having knowledge of specific clinical practice or overall intuition that comes with being a nurse.
Goldstein said she likes marketing to lawyers exhibiting in person. That is because it is more beneficial to gain trust face to face. It gives an eye to eye ability to explain with personal examples how her nursing expertise comes in handy. In some cases, it is blatantly apparent to see how the use of the CLNC branch of nursing is an essential element for lawyers to be successful protecting their clients best interest. In the long run, the relevance is an issue discovered with the help of Goldstein’s practice, and legal issues are worked out to prevent wasting unnecessary expenditure when the case does not have an actual basis of causation or the damages to not match the mechanism of injury.
With the questions Vickie Milazzo presented, Golstein did not hesitate to explain the criteria she looks for when considering whether to utilize a specific CLNC as a resource and hire them as a subcontractor. The CLNC for subcontracts need to be:
- Able to perform a sample case review that provides an acceptable reference of work product.
- Able to take criticism wisely and implement, ensuring good service of attorney-client.
The Zoom webinar live stream has some glitches, with audio timing out. That can be minimized with a solid internet connection. A CLNC may try logging in ahead of time to other presentations to preview the platform and learn the layout. The drawback of trying to do so before the start of the webinar, is that it doesn’t allow for navigation until the host is logged in. It may be a good idea to try it out or look for a YouTube of using the Zoom prior to the event. This can alleviate some problems, but connectivity issues may still get in the way of watching the presentation. It is a good idea to plan on a backup, if possible, in case of any internet coverage breeches.
The content of the webinar was helpful to see the timeline of each case is unique, therefore the individual case has to be considered without using blanket rules. For example, an insurance company may argue a gap in treatment shows the additional damage is unrelated to the personal injury claim. That attempt to refute partial liability can be argued if the gap has explanation and is not a long time in between treatment, as well as the therapy being directly related to the ongoing care and mechanism of injury.
For a poetic summary, take a peak at my Nurse Becca Blog on Wealthy Affiliate.
The poem has 7 tips for chronologies that member of our online business community can learn to make a road map encouraging their referrals, and an analogy reviewed in ACLS training of 2nd degree heart block. It is meant to be amusing, not confusing. For attorneys who would like CLNC service, and if you think of any questions, please email firstname.lastname@example.org.
-R. Nixon, RN, CLNC
PS Comments are welcome and appreciated!