In lawsuits against hospitals, doctors or nurses, there is usually the need for an expert witness who is knowledgeable about hospital procedures. This has made the legal nurse consultant a primary resource for legal teams.
The consultant is usually not just qualified to give expert opinion but is also certified for it. A legal nurse consultant certificate is a big boost for registered nurses who want to pursue a career bridging law and the medical associated arts.
Becoming a lawyer takes a lot of work. A law degree takes three years after taking an undergraduate course. Most schools also require that the law student finish the course in the mandated three years.
In the same manner, physicians also have it tough, with a long medical school program, which can extend from medical school, internship, and residency and continue up to their chosen specialization.
For court cases that require an expert witness who would be able to explain hospital and nursing procedures, a legal nurse consultant usually takes the stand.
Law firms hire nurses to assist in preparing for a case, or they serve as expert witnesses for certain cases in court. They help establish the merits of a case. They also help lawyers to develop case management and trial strategies.
They translate healthcare language for the lawyers and their legal staff. They can conduct client interviews and medical literature reviews. They identify standards of practice of the medical profession and associated medical practitioners. Overall, they help educate lawyers about medical issues.
A legal nurse consultant may work in law firms, government agencies, insurance companies, healthcare facilities, HMOs, patient safety organizations, and company legal departments.
Their expertise is important for cases involving medical malpractice, personal injury, elder law, product liability, toxic tort, workers’ compensation, risk management, regulatory compliance, forensic and criminal cases, civil rights, employment discrimination and others.
A legal nurse consultant is an important part of medical associated and legal professions. It bridges the knowledge gap between the two and is useful in providing much-needed expert knowledge in a court of law.