January 2018 – General Advice

General Advice

Which Documents Should You Forward To Your Medicolegal Expert Reporter?

doctor showing x-ray plates to patient

I have touched on this issue in a previous newsletter.  In essence, send everything.  That may mean there will be some extraneous material through which the expert reporter should wade but it is better to have too much than too little.


Radiographic examinations are especially important.  Unfortunately, there is a move towards the supply of images on compact discs.  There are several forms of software which will allow the discs to be opened.  Almost every disc is accompanied by a preamble and warning.  The warning states specifically that “These images are not intended for diagnostic purposes”. 

35630932 - dvd drive on laptop computer.


You might well ask “Well, what are they intended for?”  That would be an excellent question.

It can be very frustrating to have a compact disc that is either non-functional, incomplete or corrupted.

Whenever possible, hard copy radiographs are preferable.  It is not always possible, but every attempt should be made.  

xrays in cd

When issues of apportionment of blame or even negligence are in play, it is also useful to have radiographs depicting the state of the anatomical segment that has been injured or disabled prior to the subject event.  That allows the reporter to make a direct comparison between the state that was in existence prior to the event and the state that exists subsequently.  This can assist greatly in the apportionment exercise and can also shed great light on whether or not a duty of care has been breached and that the breach has resulted in an adverse outcome.  


In summary, when you are preparing your file for forwarding and review, don’t forget the radiographic component.  It is of vital importance.