Academy of Chiropractic Personal Injury & Primary Spine Care Program
Quickie Consult 136
“Feedback from the Lawyers”
I just finished a week of traveling and lecturing to lawyers on the East Coast and the Midwest and I can say with a great degree of certainty that the issues are the same nationally. I always get, “My area is different than the rest of the country.” It’s not! It is the same in every state, every county and every city. I know because I speak to lawyers in every state, most cities and many counties. The issues are the same and the enthusiasm for what we offer, as far as clinical excellence and admissibility, is growing within the legal community.
Every day it is getting more challenging for lawyers to get into evidence much of what is wrong with their clients, particularly in the “soft tissue cases” where there are no fractures, brain injury or severed limbs. This is where your work becomes critical to the success of the lawyer’s cases and where they are struggling to find the answers.
I can also say with a great degree of certainty that the #1 item today that has caught the attention of every lawyer who has been in the “PI industry” for more than a month is the doctor’s CV…and…the #1 item on the CV that the lawyers look for is credentials in MRI. The courts are being even more polarized towards the results of the MRI, more so than ever, as demonstrable evidence is the most critical issue of any case. Imaging proves bodily injury. Remember, anything that produces a film gives you evidence of structural damage and anything that gives you a report of what works and what doesn’t gives evidence of functional damage or loss, such as ranges of motion or EMG/NCV. The courts are very keen to causality, bodily injury and persistent functional loss. That is the Holy Grail to demonstrate when reporting to the lawyers in order for them to work with you, as we have discussed at length previously.
In my lecture in Chicago two nights ago, in spite of two radiologists, two anesthesiologists and a physical medicine and rehabilitation specialist in the room, the single biggest reaction I got from the lawyers was when I explained that the chiropractor in the room was imminently qualified and credentialed in interpreting MRI’s. After the meeting, when I commonly learn the most, as lawyers surround me with questions one on one, the most important question had to do with qualifying the chiropractor’s MRI credentials.
The same thing happened in New Jersey because lawyers do not want to spend money bringing multiple specialists to trial, as it gets expensive and their settlement or verdict awards shrink. If we have those credentials and they can use us to get the MRI results into testimony, than we become a very sexy choice to allow them to prevail. In the medical-legal community it is always about the money and if you can deliver and save them money at the end of the day, you will win!
If you have the credentials, start sending them to the lawyers as an update, as we have shared previously. If you don’t have formal credentials in MRI…GET THEM!