A report may be requested by the lawyers acting for the injured person (“the plaintiff”) or by the representatives of the party alleged to have caused the injury (“the defendant”). A defendant may be represented by a lawyer, an insurer or an authority such as a WorkCover authority. The report is requested to assess and/or provide evidence regarding the patient’s condition, treatment and prognosis.
It is most likely that such a report will be seen by a range of people, including the patient, the representatives of both parties and the court or similar tribunal (which sometimes includes the members of a jury).
Providing a report on the basis that it is “personal and confidential” will not prevent disclosure.
Health professionals are often required to comment on matters of some delicacy such as life expectancy. Most lawyers attempt to relay any such information sensitively.