Lawyers PI Program
From the Desk of:
Mark Studin DC, FASBE (C), DAAPM, DAAMLP
“The Narrative Accident History”
Over the last 6-7 lawyer lectures in multiple states where I have shown our narrative template, I have had a consistent complaint and it’s time to make a change. To digress, my narrative template is the best in the country, by far. Not because it’s mine, as I am not that smart. I am, however, a good listener and secretary. The document has been shaped by the feedback, language and suggestions of the last 35,000 or so lawyers that have seen it. Their feedback is based upon what the courts accept as admissible and articulates the truth without being twisted by opposing counsel(s).
The goal is to get the truth about your patient on paper and not be ambiguous or misconstrued. As a result of that immediate feedback in multiple states, we are changing how the history should read. Previously, it was best thought to fully describe how the accident happened. For example, “On October 24, 2006, Mr. Jones reported that he was the seat-belted driver of a Ford Focus that was hit at a moderate speed in the rear, while stopped. His car was subsequently pushed into a guard rail 200 yards down the road and sandwiched between two other cars that eventually skidded into the front and rear left quarter panels of his car. As a result, there was significant damage to the front, left and rear of his car.”
The suggestions were to make it more general and allow the lawyer to use other means to get the totality of the accident into evidence rather than the doctor. This is due to the fact that the lawyers are getting different reports from different sources and the patient is not always giving the entire story to every entity. This makes it looks very confusing in court for all parties. The suggested language is as follows, “On October 24, 2006, Mr. Jones was the seat-belted driver in a Ford Focus and was in a rear end collision while stopped and was subsequently hit by 2 other cars.”From here, start to explain the initial history of complaints.
My goal is to always articulate the truth and not compromise my reporting on any of it. After much thought, the latter is a completely accurate recount of the accident, but I just left the accident details to the police and others. My job is to focus on the bodily injury and causally relate the accident to the injuries. With the description I recommend, I can easily accomplish that without creating any confusion. Please change this on your report templates. Should you have any feedback from your local attorneys, please forward them to me in writing so I can see them.