Orthopaedic medico-legal reports can have significance in personal injury claims that involve musculoskeletal injuries. Over the course of this article, we will discuss how to obtain such reports and what they are.
We also delve into ways that you can access the services of suitable experts who can provide medical reports. Additionally, we explain the key elements that should be found in orthopaedic medico-legal reports.
You can always speak to us if you’d like to discuss accessing the services of medico-legal experts who are qualified to produce an orthopaedic medico-legal report.
Select A Section
- What Are Orthopaedic Medico-Legal Reports?
- How To Find Experts Providing Orthopaedic Medico-Legal Reports
- What’s The Process Of Obtaining Orthopaedic Medico-Legal Reports
- What Should Be In A Medico-Legal Report?
- Get Help Instructing An Orthopaedic Expert
A medico-legal report is required as evidence in the claims process, mainly to establish:
- Whether a claimant’s injuries can be linked to the accident the defendant caused
- The severity of the injuries
Medico-legal consultants have varying professional backgrounds. For example, GPs with the appropriate training and qualifications could assess general injuries such as whiplash.
Orthopaedic medico-legal reports (for musculoskeletal injuries) could be created by an orthopaedic surgeon. Such injuries that could necessitate this specialist assessment would include bone fractures, stress fractures, tendon tears, compression fractures and dislocations.
For skeletal injuries, orthopaedic medico-legal reports are crucial evidence in compensation claims. With supporting medical evidence from an impartial healthcare professional, a claim could have the credibility that it requires to succeed.
It’s important to note that any GP or medical specialist wouldn’t be able to write a medico-legal report. This is especially true if the healthcare professional is known to the claimant or has provided them with care in the past. Using the services of such a professional would be deemed a conflict of interest.
The medico-legal assessment must also be carried out by a healthcare professional that has the relevant medico-legal training and certification. Therefore, it’s crucial to find an appropriate specialist for the case.
There are different ways to find suitable experts to write orthopaedic medico-legal reports. An online search, for example, is a simple option. However:
- Pages can be outdated
- The professionals listed may no longer be acting as medico-legal experts
- They may not be available to work
Some experts only offer their services through medico-legal agencies. However, this can be beneficial. For example, if instructing an expert through an agency, the fees involved in a medico-legal report can be deferred until the claim is concluded and can be recovered from the costs claimed back.
In addition, through an agency, solicitors can save time by not conducting their search independently. Please get in touch with us if you have any further questions about this.
It’s valuable to be aware of what goes into obtaining orthopaedic medico-legal reports ahead of time. It all begins with searching for an individual professional or contacting an agency about finding a suitable medico-legal consultant.
After identifying an appropriate medical professional, the process of getting a medico-legal report would usually involve:
- Creating an instruction letter. This would act as a written request to receive a medical report. It also explains the circumstances of the accident and injury.
- Sending the claimant’s medical records, which can be done by medico-legal agencies on the solicitor’s behalf.
- Liaising with the medico-legal expert and the claimant to arrange an appointment. Agencies can do this on behalf of the legal professional.
- After the appointment, within around a month, the expert will produce the report.
Find out more about the process of obtaining orthopaedic medico-legal reports by contacting us today.
Orthopaedic medico-legal reports are intended to provide credible medical evidence from an impartial expert. The true impact of the claimant’s injuries should be set out with full accuracy and clarity. Without this report, claims can struggle to succeed.
Medico reports should contain:
- The circumstances of the accident. Though it might not go into detail, it should contain the claimant’s version of events as well as (possibly) the defendant’s. However, it’s important to note that medico-legal experts shouldn’t be biased and so will not give their opinion on the accident, but would provide their expert opinion on whether the injuries are consistent with those that could be caused by the accident.
- A diagnosis of the injuries and a prognosis too. If there’s permanent damage, this would be mentioned in the report.
- There would be a breakdown of treatment given so far, whether it has worked and what the professional recommends for the future.
- This could help to then confirm a link between the accident and the injuries that you suffered. And this helps to strengthen your case when it comes to proving a duty of care breach as the cause.
- There would be an outline as to how the claimant’s life has been affected by the injuries.
Orthopaedic medico-legal reports, created by an orthopaedic surgeon, can be essential evidence. However, the medical professional has an overriding duty to the court rather than the defendant or claimant. Therefore, it is solely based on professional opinion.
It can be a struggle to locate a suitable expert to write orthopaedic medico-legal reports. That’s where the medico-legal agencies can offer their services.
Medico-legal agencies can:
- Find a suitable medico-legal consultant in the claimant’s area using their extensive network. This can prevent the claimant from travelling distances unnecessarily.
- Arrange the assessment appointment and delivery of the report on the solicitor’s behalf.
- Allow the payment of the report to be deferred until the end of the claim.
- Chase the report for the solicitor if there are any delays for any reason.
Therefore, we recommend that using an agency to find an expert to write any orthopaedic medico-legal reports for a claimant.
Contact us if you’d like to find out more about our services, the fields our experts work in and how we can help.
You can also see this government guide on medico-legal work.