Personal injury cases usually come down to proving that you got injured. Proving this can be difficult if the plaintiff does not have the right documentation. Perhaps the most important of these documents are medical records. Medical records do not just prove that you got injured; they can also help establish who was at fault for the injury.
Areas of Focus
A personal injury case hinges not only on who was at fault, but it also focuses on areas of compensation, including:
- Medical bills
- Lost income
- Other damages and expenses that may be discovered during an investigation
As the injured party, and depending on the areas you and your lawyers choose to focus on, the burden of proof is on you to establish and prove that you suffered damages that you need to be compensated for.
Why Medical Records Are Important
Medical records are important because they can be used as evidence. Every record, diagnosis, doctors’ or nurses’ notes, prescriptions, documentation, or treatment can be used as evidence in a personal injury case. All these records can also be used to estimate your recovery time, one factor used to calculate compensation for lost wages.
Medical records are used to form the legal basis for your case. If you do not have the right records, the court can throw your case out or the insurance company can decide not to compensate you by arguing that you were not seriously injured. One area where many people get tripped up is when they miss a treatment or appointment because of financial or personal reasons. Missing even one treatment can give the insurance provider a reason to argue that your case is not serious enough.
Medical records can also be used to determine the worth of your injury case. Meticulous documentation provides an itemized list of your rehabilitation, surgeries, hospital stay, prescription, and other costs. Using this information, your lawyer is better equipped to quantify the financial impact of your injuries.
The Insurance Company Can Conduct Its Own Investigation
It is common practice for insurance companies to do their own investigations to see if you have a legitimate claim. If you already have the right medical records, your lawyer can build a better case on your behalf.
Remember that for everything to go smoothly, the medical records have to be retrieved properly and legally. Proper procedures need to be followed and these tips for lawyers will help them do the retrieval properly. The retrieval process can be tedious, expensive, and time-consuming so your lawyers should know how to do it properly to have a stronger case from the start.
Provide as Much Information as Possible
Since medical records are the lifeline in your personal injury case, your lawyers should collect as much information about your injuries as possible. If you have any documents regarding your case, hand them to your lawyers as soon as you hire them so they know where to start and fill any documentation gaps that may exist.
Every personal injury case requires evidence and medical records are the best way to prove an injury happened and to calculate the potential compensation you will get.