Welcome all to my first post on our new website.
Actually, I must confess that although I have written many posts in my head over the years, this is the first one that I have finally committed to paper…
I have been propelled into action by my concern at reading that many medical experts have concerns about the rise of the ‘hired gun’.
Firstly, it is concerning that any expert considers this to be a practice undertaken by the legal profession; let alone, that it be a practice that is on the rise.
Having been lucky enough to work with numerous medical experts over the years, I can only comment that I find them to be of the utmost professional, dedicated and genuinely warm and helpful of colleagues.
What is apparent, however, is that the battlefield of law can be quite a different, and often daunting, environment than most of the medics are used to. This is perhaps why many are reluctant to take on medico-legal work, which looking to the future is concerning, as without their professional expertise, innocent Claimant’s cases would simply not be capable of resolution. For those who are prepared to report, it is therefore critical to ensure that their impartiality and professionalism is maintained.
Perhaps, upon reflection, this is why the medicolegal partnership has flourished. As a group of experts, working independently (albeit, however, as part of a greater team of experts), with the assistance of dedicated staff and team members that have worked in the legal profession for many years, they are able to focus solely upon medico legal report writing. If requests for amendment are made, any concerns are discussed with the team, who are able to ensure that the expert is up to date with the rules and only amends reports impartially and does not feel pressured or compelled to do otherwise. It is the support system and the accompanying experience that enables the expert to confidently do their job impartially and professionally and without the stress that can come from working alone in a ‘cottage industry environment’. Much can be said for safety in numbers.
We are also live to the demands that are placed upon the medics in their daily practice, as well as the demands faced by lawyers. The support team work around these competing demands to assist workflow. We can also feed back to the legal profession on the practical difficulties faced by experts and give realistic timescales, which is important when cases are now managed in such tight timescales and deadlines are more critical then ever.
We also believe that experts fees should be maintained at the level at which they wish to charge. After all, the medical profession undoubtedly train harder and for longer than most, if not all, professions. They also face enormous stresses (often life and death) in their daily work and then commit to report writing in their own time. This is often at the expense of family time. Factor in that an expert could also face a negligence suit – and it does not make for appetizing work.
It does not have to be like that and in fact, our partnership of experts is testimony to that.
If you are looking for an impartial expert or are an expert that wants to undertake medicolegal work and simply focus upon the report writing, then the medicolegal partnership is definitely for you.
We are a group of professionals working together to deliver the best service individually and as a team. So, you can expand your practice, stick to your guns, maintain impartiality and comply with your duties to the court and enjoy your work.
I hope that this article serves to counter the ‘hired gun’ theory somewhat and we look forward to hearing from you.
Happy to help with drawing complex bills of costs too – well, that is my day job after all!!
PS: I would like to thank our fantastic apprentice, Ellisse, for her hard work and creative skills in building this new site for us.