The Role of Medical Records in Personal Injury Cases

If you have been injured as the result of someone else’s negligence or misconduct, then you are owed damages. There are many lines of evidence you’ll need when pursuing a personal injury claim, but perhaps the most important of these is your medical records. Doctor’s reports, medical bills, records of treatments received or prescribed, and other records all provide a great deal of support for your claim.

Evidence for Your Claim

Your attorney will need to review your medical records to determine the viability of your case and collect evidence to support your claim. These records are an invaluable part of any personal injury case because they provide credible support for the following:

  • The severity of your injuries
  • The costs of treatment involved in recovering from those injuries
  • How those injuries resulted from your accident
  • The role that the defendant’s actions had in causing your injuries

Without these records, your case loses a great deal of credibility. They are essential to preventing the defense from minimizing your injury or claiming that you are overreacting, both of which can undermine your claim. As proper medical evidence establishes the extent of your injuries, they are left with fewer means of defense.

Countering the Defense

More often than not, you’ll not only be facing the defendant but also their insurance company and a defense attorney. They’ll have vast resources at their disposal, and they’ll make use of them. One way that the insurance company will try to fight your claim is by seeking out independent investigations on your injuries and requesting images, lab tests, and other records.

Your doctor can provide an expert witness to the nature of your injuries by providing a thorough report. Their records will counteract the attempts of the defense to minimize or dismiss your claim.

Calculating Damages

Any personal injury case must have a dollar amount attached since that will be the way you are compensated for the injury (it also often serves as a punishment for any parties responsible for the injury). The final role of medical records is to establish the cost of your injuries and the number of damages you are owed. Damages include the cost of your medical treatment, including further treatments that you may need in order to make a full recovery.

In addition, your doctor may indicate that you won’t be able to work for a time while you’re in recovery. This means you’d be owed damages for lost wages, therapy, and rehabilitation costs, all of which can be supported by medical records.

Finally, since these records provide sound evidence for the extent of your injuries, they are a vital part of calculating general damages for pain and suffering.

For the above reasons, it’s important to allow your attorney to review your medical records when evaluating your case. This will help them determine its viability, prepare for any problem areas in the case, and calculate how much your injury will be worth. Hart David Carson LLP can provide you with the legal guidance and representation you need in these cases.

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