FAQ: What Is A Certified Legal Nurse Consultant?

certified legal nurse consultantA legal nurse consultant helps bridge the gaps for lawyers in medical malpractice and personal injury matters. While the lawyer is an expert on legal issues, the LNC is an expert on how the health care system operates using certain procedures. In fact, you've probably witnessed a legal nurse consultant at work (albeit, on television) without realizing it. Legal nurse consultants are often portrayed on TV shows as medical expert witnesses. Considering the profession isn’t a household term, you may find yourself wondering what the job title entails.

"What is a certified legal nurse consultant?"
A certified legal nurse consultant is often called as part of a team of legal medical experts at a legal trial that requires the interpretation of medical information. The nurse uses their training, education and experience as medical professionals to help legal teams handle medically related issues. They are asked to critically analyze healthcare records and medical literature as they pertain to the resolution of medical-legal cases and claims.

”What does a certified legal nurse consultant do?”
While specifics may vary depending on the individual's specialty and the case they’re involved in, most nurse consultants:

1. Participate in interviews

2. Identify and analyze relevant medical files and information

3. Prepare a summary of documentation

4. Assist in research

5. Identify standards within medical malpractice cases

6. Review fellow expert witnesses

7. Look at case to identify strengths and weaknesses

8. Draft medical portions of documents

9. Educate attorneys and clients regarding medical issues

10. Prepare medical evidence for trial

11. Serve as an expert witness

Why would someone hire a legal nurse consultant?
Lawyers and corporations have been hiring nurse consultants to act as medical witnesses since the early 1980s. They act as collaborators and strategists on behalf of the legal team. When looking to hire a certified legal nurse consultant, employers are hoping to use their knowledge, experience, education and resourcefulness to put together the best legal argument possible.

Legal nurse consultants use their vast knowledge of anatomy, physiology, medical treatment and diseases to relay important medical information to legal teams as well as the people making decisions about legal-medical cases.