February 2018 – General Advice

General Advice

Advise The Plaintiff What To Expect

This is obviously easier for lawyers acting for the plaintiff.  There is a direct dialogue which precedes the referral to the medicolegal reporter.  It is more difficult for the defendant lawyer or the insurance company since that personal liaison is often absent.  

unhappy patient going to hospital

So-called “fly in-fly out” consultations can also be very stressful.  I understand that patients have to travel from remote areas within the state and even interstate.  That will sometimes mean an early morning flight and a late afternoon or evening flight.  Sandwiched in between is the difficulty associated with transport from an airport to a central city location, attending the consultation, finding lunch and somehow getting back to the airport.  This can all be compounded by hot or wet weather, inclement conditions and seemingly insurmountable costs and expenses. 

To add insult to injury, the plaintiff must then re-live the experience of the subject accident or incident, be subjected to a physical examination which is sometimes uncomfortable and on occasions, tolerate abject rudeness and dismissiveness.

doctor consoling sad patient

I do have sympathy for plaintiffs in this situation.  In my practice, we go to extraordinary lengths to make them feel welcome and comfortable.  We wear it as a badge of honour when they present with a scowl and leave with a smile and a cheery wave.

Mind you, not all of them are happy when they read the results of the report.  That of course is a different matter.  Objectivity, clarity and reality must prevail.