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Importance Of Medical Records In Personal Injury Claims

  • Jun 26 2024

In the aftermath of a personal injury, whether from a car accident, slip and fall, or medical malpractice, medical records play a pivotal role in establishing the extent of injuries and pursuing compensation.

One of the first things your personal injury lawyer will likely ask you for is your post-accident medical records. Why? Our friends from Bennerotte & Associates, P.A., explain why your medical records are a vital part of your case, and how they can affect the outcome of your claim or settlement.

Documenting Injuries And Treatment

Medical records serve as the primary documentation of your injuries sustained in an accident and the subsequent medical treatment received. They include:

  • Diagnosis: Medical records provide detailed diagnoses of injuries by healthcare professionals, establishing the nature and severity of your condition.
  • Treatment Plan: They outline the treatment plan prescribed by doctors, including surgeries, medications, therapies, and rehabilitation.
  • Progress Notes: Progress notes document your recovery progress, complications, and any ongoing medical needs.

Establishing Causation And Damages

Medical records are crucial in proving the link between the accident and your injuries:

  • Causation: They establish that the injuries you are claiming resulted directly from the accident, not pre-existing conditions or other factors.
  • Extent of Injuries: Detailed medical records quantify the extent of your injuries, including pain levels, physical limitations, and long-term consequences.
  • Medical Expenses: Records of medical bills, prescriptions, and other healthcare costs quantify economic damages, essential for calculating compensation.

Objective Evidence In Legal Proceedings

In legal proceedings, objective evidence like medical records carries significant weight:

  • When negotiating with insurance companies, comprehensive medical records substantiate your injury claims, strengthening your position for fair compensation.
  • In litigation, medical records serve as admissible evidence to support your claims of injury, causation, and damages before a judge or jury.

Legal Strategies And Challenges

How will your personal injury lawyer use your medical records?

  • Medical records may support expert testimony from healthcare professionals who can explain the medical complexities of your injuries and prognosis.
  • If you have pre-existing conditions, accurate medical records distinguish between existing and new injuries caused by the accident.

To maximize the effectiveness of your medical records in a personal injury claim:

  • Seek medical attention promptly after an accident and follow your doctor’s treatment plan consistently.
  • Keep copies of all medical records, bills, prescriptions, and receipts related to your injury treatment.
  • Ensure medical records accurately reflect your symptoms, diagnoses, treatments, and ongoing medical needs.

Consulting With A Personal Injury Attorney

Thorough and accurate medical records are indispensable in personal injury claims. They provide objective evidence of injuries, treatment, and their impact on your life, crucial for proving liability and securing fair compensation. Ensuring your medical records are comprehensive and accurately reflect your injuries is essential to helping your personal injury lawyer secure the compensation you deserve for your injuries and losses.

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