Medico legal assessments in a personal injury case is an official report submitted as a witness to a court or jury to aid a party in a civil suit to obtain expert medical testimony about the nature, extent, and cause of certain persons suffering personal injuries. This medical examination forms a critical piece of documentation for two reasons. First, it helps to bolster a claimant’s recovery. In many instances, a medical exam can be enough to prevent a claimant from being granted anything more than temporary relief from ongoing pain and suffering. Second, the examination can serve as vital exculpatory evidence that helps to undercut the credibility of a defendant who might be perceived as somewhat careless or negligent regarding their health.
When a medical, legal doctor makes the determination that a particular individual’s condition or circumstances fall under the category of personal injury, he or she will first assess the type of injury incurred and then determine if the case can be developed using the type of injury as a basis. It is not uncommon for a medico-legal doctor to take photographs of the injury and to create a virtual reconstruction of the victim’s health condition based upon those photos. Generally speaking, medical doctors make these types of assessments in a matter of minutes after receiving a phone call or a patient’s inquiry.
Medical-Legal reports are not written in the same manner as standard legal reports. As previously mentioned, they are written by medical experts and medical specialists who have received specialized training to prepare accurate diagnosis and interpretations of the photographic documentation. These reports then require the input and analysis from individuals who witnessed the injuries, circumstances of the event, the injuries sustained, and the impact of the damages on the injured person’s life.
There are some common mistakes that medico-legal reports are prone to make. One of the most common mistakes is providing wrong information. This is especially true when the injury or damage is more severe than what was originally reported. Medico-legal doctors may give inaccurate information about an injury if they fail to consider the factors involved in determining the extent and nature of the damage. Even when the doctor has the right information, he may fail to relay it to the adjuster because he failed to consider the other person’s influence, particularly the insurance company.
There are many ways that medical-legal reports can be compromised. If a medical expert witness fails to properly testify about the degree and nature of the injury or the impact of the injury on the victim’s life, the court may believe that the claim was unreasonable or frivolous. Furthermore, medical evidence can be tainted by an insurance company’s desire to settle quickly. If there is insufficient evidence to support the case, the insurance company can deny any liability.
One of the most common mistakes made by personal injury lawyers and their clients is a mischaracterization of the facts. Lawyers who fail to accurately convey the full scope of the evidence presented to them often do so for the sake of avoiding jury-trial. However, jurors are savvy and will understand that a good lawyer always attempts to mitigate the impact of his or her client’s common mistakes. A Medico legal assessments does just the same, and because there is no way to predict what type of testimony will be called for in any particular case, an expert witness should always attempt to explain the pertinent facts.