The knowledge of your medical expert will be critical to your personal injury or medical negligence case, however the value of a well-written and well-structured medico legal expert witness report shouldn’t be underestimated. A good report could be instrumental to the outcome of a case.
Medicolegal Associates has a lot of experience preparing reports for claimant and defendant in a variety of personal injury or clinical negligence cases and we receive a lot of positive feedback regarding the quality and speed of delivery of our medico legal reports. We have prepared more than 1,200 reports in the last three years and in this article, Medicolegal Associates Office Manager, Jane Palliser, explores what makes a good medico legal report.
1. Expressing and owning an opinion
Every opinion in an expert report needs to be based on detailed analysis of the available facts. A logical thought process should support the opinion expressed and clear and informed reasoning should be in evidence. The expert providing his or her opinion needs to demonstrate a holistic understanding of the condition and be well established in their areas of specialism.
2. Detailed evidence-gathering
The collection, organisation and thorough analysis of a range of information, including historical medical records, expert reports and witness statements are vitally important. It is largely this information that will dictate the outcome of a case and, very often, this information is highly subjective, regarding a relatively un-measurable experience. Analysis of the claimant’s current state of health in an objective, detailed way is crucial.
Where relevant, good quality coloured photographs to highlight scars or injuries could be included.
3. Chronological presentation of events
A complete chronological medical history of the claimant both pre- and post-incident is necessary to help drill down and access further information relevant to the case that may otherwise have been overlooked. Information presented clearly within a relevant time context acts as an internal set of signposts for examining facts and questioning findings. Omissions or inaccuracies in the chronology of events can have very serious consequences and undermine the opinions reached in the report.
4. Focus on specifics as well as allied areas
A good medico legal report will include a detailed, holistic picture of the claimant’s life bringing to light any potential problems – which can be helpful when variances arise – allowing the reader to understand the full impact their injuries or condition has on all aspects of their life.
5. Quality presentation
There is a fine balance between including detailed qualitative information to build a holistic picture, without including excessive, overwhelming amounts of detail which detract from the key points in the report.
6. Plain English
Good medico legal reports are also written in plain English and should be understandable for everyone, not just legal counsel or the medical profession.
About Medicolegal Associates
Established experts, quality reports, quick turnaround
Our aim is to assist the court to achieve a fair outcome through providing thorough, impartial information. We organise a medical examination within 7 days of instruction and our reputable, medical experts provide their reports within 4 weeks. Our experts are also experienced expert witnesses, should you require their presence in court. We accept instructions on personal injury and clinical negligence claims from screening reports to condition and prognosis reports, causation and joint instructions. Our experts are trained to act for either the claimant or defendant and viewing a case from both sides makes or a robust report and conclusion. We make the process of commissioning an expert medico legal report easy and efficient for you and your client. You will find we are responsive, flexible and very professional.
Please get in touch for more information, to book an appointment at a clinic, or to arrange to speak to our experts about your case.