How Important Is Medical Record Review For Pharma Lawsuits?

by | Published on Aug 24, 2022 | Medical Record Review

Medical record review is integral to lawsuits pertaining to drug side effects or defective medical devices as it explains the health condition of the plaintiff. This information is vital to suing pharmaceutical manufacturers for launching medical drugs and devices that can have serious health implications for the patient. Attorneys litigating pharma lawsuits can support the arguments by focusing on the relevant excerpts from the medical records to ascertain that the plaintiff suffered an injury due to the drug’s side effects or by the defective medical device. This blog explains how medical records review for attorneys can aid plaintiffs to get eligible compensation.

Suing Drug Companies to Get Compensation 

Prescription medicines are a relief for patients with different medical conditions. Likewise, medical devices such as stents are lifesavers for patients suffering from serious health conditions. If the side effects are minor, they may go away on their own but if the injury sustains for a long time, filing a pharma lawsuit is the only way forward to obtain compensation.

Attorneys have to prove that the injuries suffered by the plaintiff were due to any of the following reasons:

  1. Manufacturing or design defects of the drug or medical device: When the formula of the drug is defective, or the medical device is poorly designed, it can exacerbate the patient’s existing medical condition. Besides, it can outweigh the health benefits.
  2. Manufacturing defect: The quality of the content of the drug is compromised or the medical device has not met the standards mandated by the FDA.
  3. Lack of warnings: The manufacturers must give adequate warnings about the side effects of drugs or medical devices and proper instructions to use them.

To know the viability of the claims eligible for the plaintiff, attorneys have to show that drug side effects or defective devices were the cause of the injury.

Medical Records are Paramount in Pharma Lawsuits

Medical records are a primer for attorneys dealing with physical injuries caused due to drug side effects or defective medical devices.  Reviewing medical records is a part of the discovery process, particularly in pharmaceutical mass tort cases. It is essential to document the prescription history against the alleged consumption.

  • The admission information of the patient

Medical records consist of all the medical encounters of the plaintiff. By reviewing medical records, attorneys can find the date of admission of the plaintiff to the hospital. If the patient was initially taken to the ER, it can be specifically noted to prove the gravity of the injury. Medical record analysis gives a clear timeline of all the medical events of the plaintiff.

  • The present health condition of the patient

Physicians prescribe medicines to ease the illness of the patient. Instead of curing the illness, the drug’s side effects can cause injury to the patient and in the worst-case scenario, it can cost the patient’s life. In lawsuits regarding such undesirable instances, attorneys are required to evaluate the present health condition of the plaintiff. Medical records give useful insights into the medical history of the plaintiff which can be used to ascertain the fact that the health of the plaintiff deteriorated after the consumption of the defective drug.

  • Details of the drug administered

Medical records have prescription notes given by the physician to treat the plaintiff. It can be used by the attorneys to know the list of medicines given to the patient and segregate the drug or device that caused uneasiness for the patient.

  • Provides proof of drug administration

The progress notes of the physicians give valuable information about the drug administered to the patient. This information can help attorneys track the health condition of the patient before and after the use of defective medical devices or drugs. Besides, it establishes the cause of injury.

  • Radiology reports

The lab reports play a vital role in identifying the type of health condition that arose due to the use of the defective products. These diagnostic reports are evidence to establish the claims put forth by the plaintiff. For instance, the use of defective stents can be found in X-ray imaging reports of the heart. The cross-sectional image of the heart can help diagnose the root cause of the injury. Clinical observations noted in the report are valuable evidence to prove that the product was defective.

  • Records from operating rooms

In some cases, surgical procedures are essential for curing the patient. Reports obtained from the operating room further explain the severity of the injury.

With medical records, attorneys can compute the compensation eligible to the plaintiff by evaluating the gravity of the injury. However, medical records are humongous documents that can consume the valuable time of attorneys which can otherwise be used for preparing for the case. The focused and thorough approach adopted by providers of medical review solutions can aid attorneys in successfully establishing the claims.

Discover our medical record review solutions and partner with us for your next case.

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