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Is a medical expert truly independent?

In order to value a client’s injury claim it is not sufficient just to tell the other side the nature of the injuries and expect the parties to come to an accurate valuation. I will need to arrange a medical examination from a suitably qualified medical expert.

More often than not I will arrange the examination but occasionally the other side will want their own examination facilities. Occasionally my client will then ask me whether the medical expert is truly independent if the other side instructs him.

The starting point is that all experts have a primary duty to the court – not to the parties or the instructing organisation. The government has introduced reforms for ensuring the independence in medical reporting and expert accreditation in its response to the consultation on whiplash reform.

From 6th April 2015, all claimant solicitors must now obtain a fixed cost medical report from an independent and accredited expert through MedCo. This is a website portal to source medical experts to provide medical evidence in soft tissue injury claims in road traffic accidents where the claimant was in a car. The MedCo website is www.medco.org.uk

MedCo will provide a list containing details of both individual experts and medical reporting organisations. Experts and medical reporting organisations must register with MedCo and will need to become accredited if they have not done so already.

Claimant representatives will be also required to conduct a “previous claims” check for all claims and insert a unique reference into the Claim Notification Form (the document that formally starts the claim) to confirm that this has been done.

If you have been in an accident and would like to discuss your personal injury claim on a no-obligation consultation then please get in touch with me. I will be happy to discuss all aspects of your personal injury claim to decide the best way to proceed.

I am a London-based solicitor at Goodge Law and an expert in securing compensation for people who have been injured in accidents that were not their fault. I work on a no win-no fee basis so you will never have to fund any part of your personal injury claim.