If you are a Professional Legal Nurse Consultant (PLNC) working on medical malpractice or nursing home negligence case, you will undoubtedly have to deal with medical experts or other nursing experts in some form. Many states require that the attorney have consulted an expert prior to even filing a lawsuit.
So, how might you, as a nurse and PLNC, find yourself entangled with the other medical or nursing experts in a case?
First, you may be asked to help locate an expert. This means, you would need to narrow the field of expertise needed in a case, then locate a qualified physician, nurse practitioner, or other medical or nursing expert to review and provide an opinion about that particular aspect. Doing so does not have to be hard. In fact, many expert directories are available online. Additionally, you can often use a search engine to find practitioners in a certain field.
Next, you may be asked to go over case facts, as they apply to the medical records, with an expert prior to his or her deposition. You may even be asked to sit in on initial expert meetings with the attorney. These meetings may be in person or via conference call. It is imperative that you have the necessary information at hand for such expert meetings.
Finally, you may be asked to review an opposing expert’s deposition testimony to help the attorney grasp the implications of their findings. Medical and nursing terminology can be confusing, and your knowledge of both is a benefit upon which the attorney will reply.