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In What Way Can A Medical Review Company Assist In A Product Liability Case?

Product Liability

The services of a medical review company are valuable in a product liability case that involves an injury or harm to the plaintiff. Such cases require the review of relevant medical records to understand the nature and extent of the injury. Attorneys representing both plaintiffs and defendants require reliable medical review services to have a clear understanding of the medical aspects of the case.

Typically, product liability lawsuits are cases with a large number of plaintiffs who may be spread across many states. Consequently, the volume of medical records that are to be collected and reviewed is also huge, maybe tens of thousands of pages or more. The reviewing team must be experienced, have the necessary expertise, and should be able to quickly perform the review. This is where professional product liability medical record review solutions become significant. Experienced reviewers can ensure dedicated litigation support and valuable medical insight that are most essential for attorneys handling such cases. Product liability cases that need medical record review include the following:

  • Defective medical devices (design defect or manufacturing defect)
  • Contaminated medical devices
  • Medical devices without adequate warnings or those marketed in a misleading way
  • Pharmaceutical products that allegedly caused health issues or even death
  • Defective pharmaceutical products
  • Drugs prescribed for off-label uses

Now, let us consider how a medical review company goes about the record review process.

  • The first step is the review of the medical chart to understand the personal injury caused. Before reviewing, all the relevant medical records are organized, bookmarked and important records and aspects highlighted. The various medical records reviewed include admission records, history and physicals, ER records, progress notes, physician orders, lab reports, operating room records, medication reports and discharge summaries among others. The severity of the injury and its effect on the plaintiff is evaluated in detail. This helps determine the merit of the case and provide a correct evaluation. Medical record review documents are created in keeping with client requirements/specifications. A clear and accurate abstraction and review of the important facts in the plaintiff’s medical history is ensured.
  • Next is the preparation of the medical case summary and chronology in accordance with the attorney’s legal strategy. The various medical factors that have an impact on a legal issue are clearly expressed. Details abstracted include the plaintiff’s demographic details, medical procedures undergone, the defective product ID, and surgeries and procedures for each relevant product.
  • The review solutions provide the attorney with a complete understanding of the situation across multiple plaintiffs involved in the lawsuit. This is vital to distinguish claims that require more extensive review and analysis so that resources can be advantageously allocated.
  • The attorney can rest assured that all relevant sources that may contain valuable evidence are identified and scrutinized. Apart from medical records, plaintiff fact sheets and other important information sources are comprehensively reviewed so that the attorney doesn’t miss out on any crucial factor.
  • Any missing documentation is identified as well as any errors, omissions or signs of tampering with the medical records.

In what way is a professional medical review team more advantageous for the attorney?

Professional medical review teams comprise medically trained professionals such as legal nurse consultants, and physicians who have the following capabilities that a person with no formal medical training will not have.

  • They can study the medical precedents such as best medical practices, standard of care and so on.
  • Being trained and experienced, the team members can clearly research and understand aspects such as chemicals involved, causation to illnesses, symptoms and their relation to any exposure to toxic substances, and so on. These details are vital when it comes to proving or negating liability.
  • They can understand the actual extent of medical damages as well as the likelihood of causation.
  • As they are knowledgeable in medical matters, the team can prepare informed medical reports on relevant medical issues that are specific to each case. They will also provide citations in published sources and references, which are very useful for the attorneys and their legal teams as a credible source of facts.

Thus, it is clear that a professional medical review company can make it easier for the attorneys to develop and argue their case well. If the product has in fact caused the alleged injury or illness, the attorney can use the information abstracted from the medical records to prove that. The connection between the injury and the defective product can be established. As for the defense side, a detailed and accurate medical chart review can help identify any pre-existing conditions the plaintiff may have or other health issues that could have a role to play in the allegations. Product liability cases are complex and require comprehensive data collection. This medical data has to be reviewed as early and as quickly as possible, which can be ensured with the support of a medical review company.

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