Q: disability lawyer wants to hire me to provide a medical opinion on denied disability cases
I am a nurse practitioner, interviewed with a lawyer that is representing patients whose disability claims that were denied and the claimant is seeking an appeal. The role consists of reviewing the medical records that are available and giving a medical opinion as likely course of your medical condition and providing the evidence that is in the medical records (ie. subjective/objective/imaging to support the status of light work vs. sedentary etc. Would my license by at risk for providing a medical opinion and would I ever be called on to testify in a case?
A: To Whom it May concern:
Whether your license would be at risk is something you would have to talk with your guild about but Nurse Case Managers are often used by the Defense to coordinate the treatment and arrange for diagnostic testing. The nurse case managers are generally not rendering a medical opinion that is left to the Primary Treating Physicians, the Consulting Physicians and the Med-Legal Doctors.
Hope this helps.
Sincerely Joseph A. Hernandez, Esq.
Hernandez Law, Inc
100 H. Street. Eureka, CA 95501
A: An "Expert" witness is a person, who by virtue of a combination of education and experience has a greater knowledge on a subject than a normal person. As a nurse practitioner, you have both specialized education and experience in the field of medicine and in your particular sub specialty. As a nurse practitioner, you are licensed by the State of California, and that is where you should direct your inquiry as to whether rendering an expert opinion in a legal proceeding could be a jeopardy to your license. As for testifying, yes, that is what you are being hired for. And remember, it is up to the other side to question whether you have the expertise you claim and up to the trier of fact to determine if you have the qualifications to render the expert opinion, in the first place. I make no opinion as to whether doing this would put your license at risk.
Justia disclaimers below, incorporated herein.
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