Medical Canvassing: Use Case for Legal

Grasping the details of a plaintiffs medical history empowers defense lawyers to spot and challenge boisterous or suspicious claims.

By Carla Rodriguez | Dec. 4, 2023 | 3 min. read

Canvassing is performed by contacting the closest facilities of each type of provider to a claimant’s address and is designed to uncover pre-existing illnesses & false claims. This process provides a more comprehensive understanding of the case but also empowers defense lawyers to construct compelling narratives that will challenge the prosecution’s arguments. Investigators uncover treatment history through geographic targeting relative to the claimant’s location making sure no relevant information is left out. In this article, we will go through a Use Case for applying Medical Canvassing in a workers comp case.


Medical Canvassing Insights:



Smith and Jackson United Attorneys were dealing with a high-stakes workers’ compensation injury. Their client faced allegations from their employee, Clint D. a seasoned truck driver who sustained a severe neck injury during a collision that happened on the job. The plaintiff’s legal team was pushing for a hefty settlement for what seemed like an airtight case for Clint.

Phase 1: Collection of Medical Data

  • The defense’s first step involved hiring medical canvassing experts to comb through hospital records, speak with healthcare providers, and uncover every other doctor’s visit the claimant had before the incident.


Access Medical Insights Fast


Timing is everything in a workers comp claim, where the person is in pain and looking to pay for their treatment right away. Conducting canvassing early in the litigation process allows you to bring your hard-earned facts into litigation sooner and point out weaknesses in your opponent’s case.

Phase 2: Gain the Ammunition You Need

  • The medical canvass team struck gold when they found out Clint had visited a chiropractor and pain specialist because of back issues predating the accident. The defense attorneys were ready to face them in mediation with this newfound information which was sure to put the causal relationship of the claimant’s actions and the damages.


Leverage Your Information During Negotiation


You will always rather resolve your case during mediation rather than take it to the courtroom.  Mediation can cut short the long and difficult process of resolving a case. Preparing for your mediation requires seizing all the opportunities to put the most relevant information on the table for your mediator to better understand your case and request.

Phase 3: Craft Your Defense Narrative

  • The defense’s narrative now integrates the newly discovered medical facts to emphasize the pre-existing condition. This will surely cast doubt on the severity of the injuries and the integrity of the case.


Overall View of The Case


Final Phase: Reach the Settlement You Want

  • The integration of medical canvassing into the defense strategy safeguarded their client’s reputation. Ultimately a lower settlement amount was reached that coincided with the claimant’s relevant injuries – those that weren’t sustained before the date of loss.

Medical canvassing can significantly bolster a defense lawyer’s negotiating position and ability to articulate the weaknesses in the prosecution’s claim. It might not always be beneficial to conduct medical canvassing unless the case involves an injury and has one of the following red flags; contradictory circumstances, lack of witnesses, history of repeat claims, or visits to multiple long-distance doctors. Armed with more evidence, you can quickly address potential weaknesses in your opponent’s case and strategically deploy counterarguments, leading to swifter resolutions and favorable outcomes.


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