Writing a medical legal report
Do not alter your report at the request of your patient or a third party — if you receive additional information, or you have made a mistake, provide a supplementary report.
The pitfalls Any expert who oversteps their responsibilities, and ignores the principles as laid out by Judge Davis above, not only risks damaging their reputation and integrity, but also places themselves at risk of a civil claim or complaint to the HPCSA.
Special care needs to be taken in Family Court matters where you may have treated both parties and you are asked to prepare a report by one of your patients involved in the proceedings. Indeed, some opinions may be beyond the expertise of the treating doctor.
A medico-legal report could be used in any legal matter where expert medical witness evidence is required to prove or disprove some aspect of the case.
If a full recovery has not yet taken place, the expert can also offer their opinion on the prognosis for recovery, that is, if and when the ongoing symptoms should recover.
GP should also write the report themselves, rather than passing it on to anyone else in their practice.
The scenarios are based on actual medical negligence claims or medico-legal referrals; however, certain facts have been omitted or changed by the author to ensure the anonymity of the parties involved.
In most cases, these doctors will be independent medical experts who have had no direct involvement in the care of the patient.
Medico legal cases format
You should seek legal or other professional advice before relying on any content, and practice proper clinical decision making with regard to the individual circumstances. An expert is not a hired gun who dispenses his or her expertise for the purposes of a particular case. In a civil claim for damages the claimant must prove their case in each and every respect. Australian Health Practitioner Regulatory Agency. As far as their injuries are concerned, they must do this by providing evidence from a suitably qualified and experienced medical expert witness. Any advice here is general advice only and does not take into account your objectives, financial situation or needs. Cover is subject to the terms, conditions and exclusions of the relevant plan. Prepare your report within a reasonable time frame — if necessary, discuss this with the party who has requested the report. One has only to cast their eyes over the case reports in each edition of Casebook to grasp the importance of expert evidence in a clinical negligence claim.
This can include fees for medical legal reports. It is important to be aware that any opinions expressed in a medico-legal report will often come under particular scrutiny by the reader of the report and may be publicly tested and challenged in court.
You should consider whether the product is appropriate for you and the PDS for the relevant product, available by contacting us onbefore deciding to purchase or continuing to hold a policy or plan.
Advice booklets A guide to writing expert reports If you are instructed as an expert during the course of a claim, complaint hearing or trial, your clinical expertise will be called upon — and it is likely to require the development of an expert report. Competing interests: None.
A treating doctor is not obliged to provide an opinion in a medico-legal report.
Writing a medical legal report
In a civil claim for damages the claimant must prove their case in each and every respect. Who are our expert witnesses? If a full recovery has not yet taken place, the expert can also offer their opinion on the prognosis for recovery, that is, if and when the ongoing symptoms should recover. Professional obligations Good Medical Practice: A Code of Conduct for Doctors in Australia2 states that good medical practice involves: being honest and not misleading when writing reports and certificates, and only signing documents you believe to be accurate taking reasonable steps to verify the content before you sign a report or certificate, and not omitting relevant information deliberately preparing or signing documents and reports, if you have agreed to do so, within a reasonable and justifiable time frame making clear the limits of your knowledge and not giving opinion beyond those limits when providing evidence. The scenarios are based on actual medical negligence claims or medico-legal referrals; however, certain facts have been omitted or changed by the author to ensure the anonymity of the parties involved. A medico-legal report is a report written by a doctor in the role of a medical expert witness in a legal case. You should seek legal or other professional advice before relying on any content, and practice proper clinical decision making with regard to the individual circumstances.
based on 20 review