Medical experts are often requested by attorneys or insurance claims adjusters to write medical expert reports. This is true for both retained medical expert witnesses and non-retained expert consultants. Here are some general steps medical experts should take to properly construct an expert report.
1. Ask the attorney you are working for to help you define the scope of your report. Most jurisdictions have written rules that define what you may include in your medical expert witness report. Before you begin to work on the report, get a written set of guidelines.
2. Understand the purpose of your report. To write an effective report, make sure you have a clear understand of what the attorney hopes to accomplish with your report and make sure you are prepared to discuss all of the issues relevant to the case.
3. Describe the education, training, and experience that makes you qualified to be an expert witness in the case, or attach a separate curriculum vitae to your report. If you decide to write your qualifications in the report, you will need to begin your report by discussing what degrees you hold, what certifications you have, and what specific training or positions you have held relevant to the issues in the case.
4. Provide a description of your knowledge of the case. Discuss whether you obtained your information on the case through medical records or other reports which preferably should be listed or whether you interviewed the doctors or patient in person.
5. Give an objective medical assessment of the situation by describing in detail the chronology of the case. To ensure that your report is valuable, discuss the medical issues accurately and in-depth, but avoid using medical jargon or overly-technical language that the attorneys and other parties to the case may not understand. If you use technical jargon, then it must be explained in simple terms.
6. Explain how the medical evidence backs up your opinion using specific information about the case. Make sure that you have concrete medical facts to back up conclusions you make about the legal ramifications of the medical legal action.
7. Disclose your fees if requested. In some jurisdictions, you may be asked to disclose compensation you received in exchange for your report.
8. Sign and date the report. You will need to sign your name and certify that all of the information listed in your medical malpractice expert witness report is accurate to the best of your knowledge. You may be required to execute your signature in the presence of a notary public. You also might want to include a line saying that you reserve the right to amend the report if you are provided with additional information.