Whilst medical summaries are mostly required by the plaintiffs’ firms, defense law firms have a different type of requirement when they write a medical summary. TLB’s medicolegal legal team has a skilled subgroup that is exclusively trained on writing medical summaries for the US and UK defense law firms. This subgroup has worked with the legal process outsourcing companies (‘LPOs”) from early on and know every little subtlety in the laws of almost all jurisdictions. In this blog, we are going to feature TLB’s extra advantage of writing medical summaries for a defense law firm.
Medical Summary from the Defense perspective:
Summarizing medical records for a defense firm is quite unalike from that of a plaintiff firm. For a plaintiff, the emphasis is on injuries sustained or harm caused to the claimant. So, the positive findings relevant to the case are highlighted. But, for a defense firm, the approach is from a different perspective.
TLB’s team summarize the medical records in the same format as general medical summary, but the following issues are highlighted for a defense firm:
- Detailed status of the patient upon arrival of EMS – ‘Patient was sitting on roadside….’, ‘Patient was walking comfortably….’, etc
- Inconsistencies in patient’s history
- Pertinent negatives related to the case viz., no ‘Loss of Consciousness’, negative ‘Straight Leg Raise’ test, etc.
- Negative radiographic impressions
Understanding a Defense Law firm:
Defenses in personal injury cases are arguments that typically relate to two things: what the plaintiff did in connection with the accident – their role in causing it, and what the plaintiff didn’t do after the injury – like get proper medical attention or file their lawsuit on time. Defense law firms base the personal injury cases on three broad criteria – comparative negligence, contributory negligence, and assumption of the risk.
Comparative Negligence: Most US states follow a comparative negligence rule in personal injury cases, calculating damages under a formula that looks at each party’s degree of fault for the accident. For example, if in a car accident the plaintiff is found to be 25% at fault and the defendant 75% at fault, any compensation the plaintiff receives will likely be reduced by 25%. The vast majority of states following comparative negligence principles fall into one of two camps: those that use a ‘pure comparative negligence’ system and those that go with a ‘modified comparative negligence’ system. The difference between the two is that in the ‘pure’ system, an injured plaintiff can recover damages as long as they are not completely at fault (they can be anywhere from 1 to 99% at fault), while in a ‘modified’ comparative negligence system, an injured plaintiff can recover compensation only if they are 50% or less at fault (or 49% or less in some states).
Contributory Negligence: In states that follow contributory negligence principles, plaintiffs who share any degree of fault for an accident or injury are usually barred from getting any compensation via a lawsuit for personal injury. Only a small handful of states have contributory negligence laws – including Alabama, Maryland, North Carolina, and Virginia.
Assumption of Risk: ‘Assumption of the risk’ defense states that the harm suffered must relate closely to the risk that’s inherent in the activity. So, if the plaintiff is playing a game of organized basketball at the local gym, he has probably assumed the risk of getting elbowed inadvertently – since that’s a common occurrence in a game of basketball. On the other hand, if he got injured playing basketball when the backboard broke and fell on him, the defendant (the gym owner, for example) couldn’t rightly argue that the risk of such a thing happening, because a falling backboard isn’t a danger that’s inherent in the game of basketball.
Analysis of a Case:
After creating the medical timeline, the important points pertinent to the case is highlighted and a brief analysis is done. Their analysis is an argumentative report and not just a simple report. Further, the team can also make supplementary trial documents which becomes handy when the trial approaches. This saves your time significantly.