| Episode #:
Show: National 3
Airdates: Feb - July (see
Programming Schedule for specific airtimes)
expert medical witnesses
Medical experts, testifying as expert witnesses, provide scientific findings of
fact. When you're faced with litigation, whether you're a defendant or a plaintiff,
having the best possible forensic evidence often determines whether you win or
lose. How Benchmark became the leader in this specialized field.|
Auto accidents, work injuries and class action law suits against the tobacco companies,
controversies over breast plants and even criminal cases such as the O.J. Simpson
trial in 1995. What do they have in common? Medical experts testifying as expert
witnesses to provide scientific findings of fact. When you're faced with litigation,
whether you're a defendant or a plaintiff, having the best possible forensic evidence
to support your position determines whether you win or lose. But how do you find
the experts needed to provide the accuracy in information one would need in a
Well, our investigative team sought out and found a company renowned
in this field. Its called
Services, recognized as a leader in providing full administrative support
in the legal process. It supports 1200 healthcare and forensic consultants and
serves more than 2500 law firms, and insurance companies around the country.
Lets say you're an attorney or an insurance company in the midst of a high
profile case and you need an expert to solidify your argument, locating medical
experts and specialist able to review cases in litigation, is not an easy task.
Finding someone to make an objective and professional medical judgement on
a complex case, which assist juries in forming opinions and making decisions that
are based on fact, is the ideal of the administration of justice. But finding
these experts is part of the problem. Having medical personnel agree to be a medical
/ legal expert in a case is a daunting task. And that's where Benchmark comes
Kelly Dennison (Vice President): "Our job is to help
these physicians understand the differences between usual clinical practice and
the legal complexities involved in resolving disputes. We help them see the benefit
of learning legal aspects of the medical field. And in the long run they've told
us that they have become better clinicians".
And the reality
is that there are a lot of complexities in resolving legal disputes that physicians
need to know, including how to handle the tremendous paper work involved.
"Our service allows the physician
to concentrate on the medical facts of the case, while we handle the scheduling,
collecting records and helping the doctor complete the paperwork that his regular
clinical staff has never encountered".
And unlike other
medical-legal organizations which use preset forms and boilerplate language, we've
learned that Benchmark encouraged all consultants to maintain their individuality
when preparing their findings.
Years ago when attorneys needed an expert
in a case, getting a doctor to testify based on his or her professional medical
opinion was almost impossible. Most attorneys and doctors saw each other as adversaries,
mainly because of medical mal-practice suits.
Dr. John Chase (President):
"Our goal was to assure a good name to both sides. Years ago when I was
doing independent medical evaluations for insurance companies and law firms, I
became concerned about the poor relationships between physicians and attorneys".
For years Dr.Chase has encouraged and lectured to other physicians to become
involved as independent consultants. He helped them understand the legal processes
they would encounter, and as the need for this type of service began to grow he
expanded his operation to include workshops to these valued professionals on popular
legal topics related to the medical field. It wasn't long before insurance companies
and law firms began using Dr. Chase's company as a clearinghouse for independent
consultants. The improved quality of independent review and testimony became much
too valuable an asset in the successful outcome of their cases.
Benchmark provides a wide variety of services to physicians, law firms, insurance
companies, HMOs, insurance adjusters and even private companies. While there are
hundreds of "finders groups" across the country to compile list of professional
consultants willing to do independent evaluations, Business World News realized
that only Benchmark provided these companies with comprehensive case management.
Case management helps them in identifying the right clinical and forensic
specialists, coordinating their reviews, and providing administrative support.
Benchmark also handles legal scheduling to get the right people and the right
materials, in proper form, to the right place at the right time.
to helping clinical and forensic specialists focus on the case issues, whilst
handling the administrative support details, we learned that under Benchmark's
direction, physicians are able to provide their professional expertise with a
minimum of disruption to their own patients schedules or burdening their clinical
staff with unfamiliar paperwork and legal reports.
As a result,
Benchmark has made a significant improvement in the quality, integrity and timeliness
of the work of expert consultants in their contributions to our legal system of
justice. Maybe now cases would be tried more fairly, with more accuracy and more
certainty that those who are really guilty are brought to justice and those who
are innocent are set free.