Whenever someone files a personal injury, workers' compensation, or medical malpractice claim, there is the possibility they suffered catastrophic harm. A catastrophic injury claim has legal, medical, and financial implications.
Before you move ahead with a case, the insurance company, your lawyer, and any involved government agencies will want to know whether your injuries are catastrophic. To that end, you'll likely need to undergo a catastrophic injury merit screening. Injured people should know the following three things about this process.
Some aspects of insurance and injury law require a finding that a person's injuries were catastrophic. For example, many states have medical malpractice laws that limit how much compensation a victim can recover. The exception in most of these states' regulations is usually that a victim's injuries are life-altering and likely permanent. Most legal systems call these sorts of injuries catastrophic. If there is a determination of catastrophic injuries, the damages cap comes off and the victim can usually obtain as much compensation as the law and their circumstances justify.
There are also scenarios where screening is necessary to determine the cause of specific medical problems. Suppose someone is filing a claim based on the belief that exposure to a toxic chemical led to their cancer. First, they'd have to show evidence of exposure. Second, they'd need evidence linking the exposure to the cancer diagnosis. If they can document both aspects of the case, they may be able to demand compensation for their injuries.
Independent Medical Expertise
A catastrophic injury merit screening consulting firm offers medical expertise from experienced professionals. These are people who've dealt with numerous cases, and they can independently verify whether a victim meets the criteria.
An expert can conduct a visual and physical examination of the injury victim. They also can perform cognitive testing if that's consistent with the diagnostic criteria for the condition in question. Also, an expert can order MRIs, X-rays, toxicology tests, and other screens that might support or refute a claim.
Reports and Testimony
Ultimately, the goal of catastrophic injury merit screening consulting is to produce reports. An attorney can then use these reports to decide how to pursue a case. Likewise, they can furnish the reports to the defendant or their insurer to explain why a victim deserves greater compensation. A professional may also provide testimony in depositions or at a trial if the matter doesn't result in a settlement.