- Cover letter: In your cover letter let us know whether you require a Complete Case Review or an Expert Witness Report (please see our Flat Rate Fee Schedule for details of each service). If you require an Expert Witness Report, you must specify the exact specialty of the Expert that you need to review your case in writing (i.e., Neurosurgeon, Plastic Surgeon, Orthopedic Surgeon, etc.) as well as any specific requirements for this expert, (type of procedure involved, active practice, teaching, any statute requirements etc.).
- Please specify the legalese (legal language) required for your expert witness report (i.e. state requirements), upfront prior to the review by the expert. Please note that expert witnesses are not attorneys, they will need specific language to meet your state requirements; affidavit, certificates etc. are typically supplied and prepared (format, correct legalese) by the attorney on the case. The expert will update the medical language and their expert opinion.
- Statement of facts: If possible, please include a statement of facts and any questions you would like to have addressed. In addition, if you include a statement from your client, we recommend that the statement is written in an Affidavit format. Note: if you request a verbal opinion, be sure to mention it in your cover letter, as written reports are part of our standard service (please see our fee schedule for details).
- Medical Records: For the Medical Records or documents to be reviewed, examine each page to make sure copies are legible. If possible, medical records should be organized in the following order (Hospital format):
- Admission Information (“Face”) Sheet
- Laboratory Reports
- Discharge Summary
- Graphic Sheets -Temperature, Pulse, Blood, Admission History & Physical Pressure
- Doctor’s Progress Notes
- Procedures (operative notes, anesthesia, x-rays, CTs MRI)
- Consultation Reports, etc.
- Doctor’s Orders
- All Nursing Notes
If the records are still in the order in which you received them from the hospital, this does not necessarily mean they are complete, we recommend that you request a certified complete copy. Also include the total pages of medical records, x-rays and/or photographs you are submitting. We prefer to receive copies of all records, however, if you must send the originals, we require a clause releasing American Medical Experts from any liability from loss or damage.
X-rays, CTs MRI, Images, etc.: When relevant to your case, x-ray studies are often requested by our Experts so they may be reviewed. Many find the x-ray reports alone to be an unacceptable basis for their opinion. The x-rays you send to us should be good quality copies. You can obtain copies from the Hospital. Check each x-ray to ensure that your client’s name, the date, and the type of study that was performed is legible. As previously mentioned, we recommend that you send copies. Note: In fracture cases, x-rays when the acute injury is evaluated and treated, follow-up x-rays, (usually taken 8-10 days after the fracture is cast), and x-rays are taken at the completion of therapy. In cases having to do with contrast studies, i.e., arteriograms, venograms, intravenous pyelogram (IVP), barium studies, CT scans, and MRIs, copies of all the pertinent films should be obtained for the Expert’s review when relevant. Also, images, when relevant (i.e. plastic surgery cases) can be valuable to your case. Call our office if you have any questions.