If you are involved in an accident and sustain injuries, your medical records become the superhero cape for your personal injury case. These records are not simply paperwork with your doctor’s notes on them; they have so much valuable information to make or break a personal injury case.
Documenting your story
Medical records are important documents that contain critical information, such as examination reports, information about when you arrived at the medical facility, how the medical staff examined you, treated you, diagnosed you, and everything in between.
Medical records can also contain anything you may have said after the accident, whether to your doctor or a nurse, even your demeanor and the mental state in which you arrived at the medical facility. These files hold the story of what happened to you and what you have been through.
Connecting the dots
In simple terms, to have a valid personal injury claim, the individual seeking compensation must be able to connect their injury directly with the accident.
In legal terms, this is called causation. Medical records help piece together the details of the injury, what happened after the accident, and everything in between. It is the evidence that proves this happened and when it happened.
What you lost
As for calculating losses, it is difficult to put a price on the losses that a human being suffers. For example, it is very difficult to determine how much compensation a person should receive in a wrongful death case.
However, if losses occurred, compensation is due, and medical records help determine and calculate what you suffered and lost; whether it is medical bills or ongoing treatment, they help quantify the financial impact the accident had.
Courts rely heavily on expert opinions in matters that they are not experts in. In personal injury cases, for example, they often rely on physicians’ statements, recommendations, and opinions, and the court can call them to testify under oath.
In addition, they have their own code of conduct, which requires them to be truthful and honest in their work and everything associated with the care of their patients.
These important medical files contain much more than the above, which is why it is imperative that you insist the hospital staff document everything for you, if you can do so, and speak with your attorney about these records, which your attorney can use to develop a legal strategy to win your case.
Medical records are your evidence—the backbone—of a personal injury case. They tell a story, validate your struggles, and provide the evidence to support your case in court.