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Medical Records in Personal Injury Cases

How Can Medical Records Help Your Case?

Medical records in personal injury cases show that the accident caused the injury. The reasons behind filing a personal injury case are to seek compensation for damages and hold negligent parties accountable. Consequently, medical records are vital to show the extent of injury. They indicate whether hospitalization and surgery were necessary along with physical therapy, rehabilitation or other medical treatment. These records are what prove a claim is legitimate.

What Types of Medical Records Apply in Lawsuits?

A wide range of records may apply, such as:

  • Doctor's examination notes
  • Tests run (x-rays, MRIs and lab work)
  • Histories of office appointments
  • Billing statements
  • Accounting records
  • Medications prescribed
  • Physical therapy visits

Negligence that Results in Serious Injury

In addition to proving the extent of personal injury, a lawyer must also prove that the injury occurred as a result of the other party’s negligence. For example, if you sustained injury from slipping and falling on someone else’s property, the attorney must prove the owner was negligent. Perhaps a dangerous condition, such as a loose stair railing caused your fall. The property owner would be negligent if he or she had known about the railing but failed to warn people or repair it in a timely manner.

The lawsuit would seek compensation to pay medical bills, and medical records would substantiate the amount being sought.

Of course if the injury victim contributes to the injury, courts reduce the compensation based on their percentage of fault.

No Evidence Equals No Case

Without medical evidence of injury, there is not sufficient basis to pursue a personal injury claim. The fact that the injured party had no insurance or did not see a physician because they could not afford to pay for treatment is not an acceptable excuse.

Always seek medical treatment and afterward discuss your injury with an experienced attorney. Most offer free consultations and take personal injury cases based on contingency. Personal injury lawyers receive payment as a percentage of the compensation when they settle or win the case.

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