Academy of Chiropractic Personal Injury & Primary Spine Care Program
Quickie Consult 47
"First Visit Phone Calls to the Lawyer"
Many of you continue to send lawyers the initial visit evaluations…Why? Lawyers can’t use it in their litigation because all that counts is what has persisted after a reasonable course of care. However, the lawyer does need to hear from you. As pointed out in the consultations, a post-first visit phone call is critical in building a trusting relationship with the lawyer. This also gives you the opportunity to let the lawyer know that you are the best-of-the-best through clinical excellence and you speak their language.
During that phone call, you should relate to the lawyer the symptoms of the patient and your care plan, focusing on testing. The lawyer’s DNGARA (I need to have some fun…Do Not Give A Rat’s Ass) about the patient’s plan to get well, only the plan to determine what has been injured, as that is their livelihood ($$$). If there are any radiculopathic or myelopathic findings, let them know that and also that you plan on referring for an MRI and subsequent specialists, should there be any root or cord involvement. It is here they will start to understand that you know what you are talking about and this will create a level of comfort that their client is being handled, so they do not need to leverage their patient to see another specialist; you have it handled and are truly an expert in spine.
As for admissibility, inform them that your goal, if clinically present, is to correlate causality and bodily injury to persistent functional loss. Once that portion of the conversation is over, you will have won. They will get it. You will then inform the lawyer that in 6-8 weeks you will get together with them to review all of the results, as you will have a package for them with copies of the results. Do not get into the chronology of symptomatology at this point in time. Save that for your meeting in 6-8 weeks.
Once you hang up, you then have to follow through to ensure the patient follows the treatment plan. In 6-8 weeks, call them to meet with them to deliver a copy of results only. NO NARRATIVE REPORT! At this meeting, you educate them to the chronology of symptomatology (Consultation #14) so they understand why the narrative won’t be forthcoming for a few more weeks or months. Game over…you win!