Litigators who focus on insurance defense require an arsenal of tools for arguing cases. Personal injury, professional liability, medically-related mass torts, product liability, and general insurance defense cases are notoriously complex in nature. Therefore, attention to detail must be a litigator’s main priority.
Attorneys take various approaches to organizing information, but the medical chronology, a concise record of medical facts, is a tried and true method for piecing together even the most complicated medical data.
While medical chronologies are utilized by attorneys for a multitude of reasons, applying these top four ideas enhances the quality and cost-effectiveness of this trusty tool:
1. Using a Medical Professional
Medical chronologies, in theory, can be created by anyone familiar with the general nature of a personal injury case or basics of a medical record. However, smart litigators employ the services of U.S. based legal nurse consultants to complete a record review, as analyzing the medical facts of a case is as important as simply listing them.
2. Cost Effectiveness
It is rare to have a document in a case that can be used before a suit is filed, after it is filed, during discovery, pre-deposition, post-deposition, pre-trial and during trial. A medical chronology, if done correctly and updated as necessary, will follow the attorney throughout the case, providing a time saving summary of events. Medical chronologies are a proven cost effective way to manage information and avoid repeat information gathering throughout the course of a case in any phase of litigation.
3. Prevents Potential Mistakes
Knowing the upfront, organized facts of a case, especially for a professional liability matter, is key to analyzing the suit correctly. A medical chronology will uncover the gaps in treatment, potential medical experts needed, and alleged damage assessments. These factors guide a defense attorney from the beginning, avoiding unnecessary mistakes.
4. Exposure assessment
Knowing your carrier’s upfront exposure is always helpful in determining how to proceed with a case. A medical record chronology not only isolates the vital medical information, but combines it with an analysis of the potential damages to the plaintiff. This level of exposure, or the carrier’s monetary liability, is a key driver in determining whether to settle, arbitrate, mediate or go to trial.