Ocular personal injury litigation involves wrongful death with vision related issues, auto accident, trucking accidents, toxic injuries, medical liability claims, and workers compensation issues.
- Medical Records Review
A review of medical records is often an ideal method of screening the merits of a case. Medical records reflect the injuries in question and assess the claimant’s condition at the time of an eye examination. The medical information should reflect the injuries in question and the effect the injuries have had on the claimant’s life. Details of limitations involvinga claimants work and social activities are often detailed in the records. Records also reflect the medications that have become necessary and the level of pain or discomfort a claimant experiences.
- Objective Evaluation
Quite often, a claimant is compelled to present for an objective evaluation known as an Independent Medical Examination (IME). An ophthalmologist thorougjly reviews and analyzes all avialable and pertinent medical information. Medical information may come from a variety of sources including medical records, reports from other experts, administrative reports, and filings with government agencies. Factors such as causation and assessment of damages are considered.
- Expert Report
An expert report presents the objective findings and opinions of the ophthalmologist. Issues of validation of complaints and observations are often addresed in the expert report. An ocular expert report can provide useful insight that may be used in litigation or the administrative process. Expert reports that clearly detail opinions and the basis for these opinions are useful.
A prognosis for an eye condition may be included in the expert analysis. In peroanl injury litigation, this information may be useful in determining the extent of vision impairment, the extent and duration of any disability. An expert opinion may be needed to analyze, when or if the vision impairment is likely to resolve.
The opinions of the expert help form the position of a plaintiff or defendant in litigation. The strength of these opinions are used to negotiate a settlement or compy with a legal proceeding. The Court will usually insist on settlement conferences before the matter is broght up in Court. If negotiations for settlement are inconclusive, the opinions of the ocular expert are presented in Court. The ocular expert is seen by the Court as independent evaluators and the primary function of an eye expert is to provide objective opinions that a jury or judge may rely on to make their best judgements. During the litigation process, the ocular expert serves as an advocate for his opinions. These opinions are subject to careful scrutiny during examination and cross-examination. Ocular experts need to be prepared to clearly explain and defend their positions. Doing so will establish their credibility to judges and jurors.
Ocular personal injury litigation is a valuable service that is needed in the courts and in administrative processes. Impartial information that is based on established scientific principles is valued as a foundation for making rationale and fair decisions.