I’ve worked with a lot of legal nurse consultants since launching MKC Medical Management in 1997. And, from experience, I know what qualities make for the best ones.

This fall, I had the chance to dive deep into that topic as I wrote a piece about how to hire a great LNC. For more information, see my article in Attorney at Law Magazine.

Here are seven tips for hiring a great LNC:

Know what you want: Have specific goals in mind and make sure the LNC meets them. Find out if somebody else will review the final product before it’s sent to you.

Ensure the LNC understands the case: The LNC must understand not only who is at fault, but the standard of care and any other relevant legal issues.

Expect a translation of medical terms: If the reader has to use Google or a medical dictionary to get through the report, then the LNC has failed.

Demand attention to detail: If the LNC repeatedly misspells words, gets dates wrongs and makes other mistakes, then you need to question whether she has what it takes to be a consultant.

Make sure medical information is properly reported: The LNC’s analysis should demonstrate a knowledge of the disputed facts versus the undisputed facts, along with any expert opinions. Any information that speaks to your specific issue or questions should be included.

Look for a basic understanding of biomechanics: Nurses are not biomechanical engineers, but they need to have an understanding of how an accident affects the body.

Meet in person or by telephone:  An LNC must be able to think like the opposing counsel and determine why a provider did what they did. A lot of information about the nurse’s skills and expertise can be gleaned from talking through issues in person or by telephone.

Not every registered nurse makes for a good LNC. It’s critical they understand both a claim’s legal nuances and are able to explain them clearly in writing. But, when you do land on a great one, they can help you build your case – and win.