The Role of Medical Records in a Personal Injury Case

Getting in an accident is never a good experience. And if you were injured as a result of the accident, the last thing you want to do is worry about collecting proper evidence and records in order to seek compensation.  

This blog will teach you the significance of medical records and proper documentation in your personal injury case. You’ll learn what records you need, how to obtain those records, and expectations of permanent injury settlement amounts. 

What Should You Do If You Sustain an Injury In An Accident? 

If you have been hurt in an accident, you may be entitled to compensation, so it is in your best interest to start documenting everything immediately. For example, if you are injured in a car accident, you will want to take pictures of your injuries, the accident scene, and the damage to your vehicle.  

For accidents such as a car crash, pedestrian accident, or dog bite, you should always call the police right away. The police officer can document everything that happened, including taking photos of the accident, taking witness statements, and making their own documentation of what happened in a police report.  

The next step you will want to take is to go to the hospital or a medical facility to get checked out by a doctor. This step is crucial and cannot be emphasized enough. If you feel injured or not, seeking medical attention is essential. Your well-being is important and many times after an accident your adrenaline is pumping, and you may not feel the effects of your injuries until 24-48 hours after. Going to get checked out right away will provide you with potentially the most critical evidence in your case. It’s also important to note that you should use your health insurance for any accident-related injury.  

Lastly, it is in your best interest to call a personal injury attorney to protect your rights and guide you through the process following an accident that resulted in injuries. An experienced attorney who practices personal injury law will be able to help you collect the needed records, provide you with the best advice on what to do next, and handle the insurance company in regard to your injury claim.  When you have an attorney on your side, your main focus is to get better and recover from your injuries.  

Why Are Medical Records Critical in Personal Injury Claims? 

When you decide to file a personal injury lawsuit, you are essentially seeking rightful compensation for someone else’s negligence. Accidents can lead to a wide range of problems and financial burdens. Not only may you experience a loss of income due to time missed at work, but the hospital and medical bills can worsen the situation.  

There are several types of damages that you can seek compensation for, including lost wages, hospital and medical bills, and pain and suffering. To strengthen your case and ensure that you receive the compensation you deserve, it is crucial to have clear and comprehensive medical records that will establish a direct link to your injuries and treatment to the accident. Having a doctor document that the injuries you sustained resulted from the accident will increase the chances of winning your case and getting the best possible outcome for your personal injury claim.  

How Are Medical Records Used as Evidence in Personal Injury Lawsuits? 

Once you have hired a personal injury attorney and given them authorization to obtain your medical records, they will use that documentation to start building your case. These medical records will show the extent of injuries caused by the accident, which plays an important role in determining the amount of damages you are entitled to receive. Your attorney will use your medical records, along with other gathered evidence related to the accident, to recommend the most suitable course of action.  

Both the insurance adjuster and the court, in the event your claim goes to trial, will have access to your medical records. Their objective will be to examine whether your injury could potentially be attributed to a pre-existing condition. The insurance company for the at-fault party will do their best to minimize your injuries and look for ways to decrease the value of your case. That is why it is extremely important that your medical records provide a clear and accurate representation of the injuries sustained, helping to establish a compelling argument against any contention of pre-existing conditions.  

Medical records in a personal injury claim are the most essential evidence. Without a doctor’s documentation of your injuries and treatment, it is impossible to file an injury claim. That is also why it’s critical to wait until you are done treating for your injuries before you accept any financial compensation for a personal injury claim. The amount of your medical bills is the single most important piece of information that determines the value of your case.  

Key Takeaways 

Once you have decided to pursue a personal injury claim, there are several items that you want to remember about your medical records, such as: 

  • Get checked out by a doctor as soon as possible following an accident. This could include going to the emergency room, Urgent Care or other medical facility, or your primary care physician.  
  • Your medical records help establish a direct link between the accident or incident and your injuries. Your medical records must be clear, comprehensive, concise, current, objective, and accurate. Remember that the defense will use tactics to downplay the severity of your injuries, argue that they were related to pre-existing conditions, or other ways to diminish the value of your claim.  
  • Medical records are the most important documentation needed in a personal injury claim. They will show the severity of your injuries including diagnosis, treatment plans, medications prescribed, and duration and extent of medical care required. The doctor’s records can also show if there was time needed off from work while you recover.  

Overall, medical records are key to a personal injury case as they provide objective documentation, establish the cause, detail the severity and length of treatment plan, support expert opinions, and detail a large part of your economic damages. They are vital in ensuring that you receive full and fair compensation.  

If you or a loved one have been involved in an accident that resulted in an injury, contact Huffman and Huffman Brothers-in-Law today. Our firm is the family you can turn to in your time of need. Our attorneys will guide you through the steps needed to ensure you have proper medical documentation so that you can focus on your recovery. Consultations are free and our team is available 24/7 to help.  

  

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