Medical records and medical chart review are among the most important considerations in a car or auto injury case because they contain valuable evidence regarding the injury and its aftermath. A personal injury attorney pursuing rightful compensation for his/her client via a settlement or via a lawsuit requires the efficient support of a medical review company to clearly understand the injury and its severity. Gathering evidence that includes the medical records of the claimant is the first step in the development of the car accident case.
Significance of Medical Records and Medical Record Analysis
The injured person’s medical records show the diagnosis and treatment of the injury. Important information contained in these include treatment dates, physician’s opinion regarding the injury, and physician’s appointments. In addition, other details the medical chart contains are:
- A comprehensive and accurate analysis of the treatments provided
- The outcome or projected outcome of the treatments
- Evaluation of the claimant’s present medical condition
- Future treatment procedures with detailed descriptions to estimate expected medical costs
What Medical Records Are Required?
Medical records present a clear picture of the claimant’s general health, the injury sustained because of the car accident, the treatments undergone and the outcome of those treatments. These records have a significant role to play in establishing causation in the personal injury case.
- Paramedic/ambulance records
- Emergency room records
- Admission records
- Medical history, physicians’ notes, nursing documentation, recovery prognosis
- Diagnostic test results
- Prescription records
- Photographs of bruises/surgical scars
- Hospitalization records
- Surgical records, including anesthesiologist’s reports
- Consultations, correspondence, and referrals
- Physical therapy records
- Records from follow-up appointments
- Rehabilitation therapy records
- Psychological treatment records
- Independent medical evaluation or IME reports
Health insurers may also want to review the claimant’s past medical records to rule out any pre-existing conditions. Some injuries may not leave any external marks, and these could be denied by insurers. For example, back/neck/knee and shoulder pain could be attributed to pre-existing conditions, the aging process, or degeneration. In such instances, the claimant’s past medical records and expert medical testimony are vital to the case.
Ways in Which Medical Records Impact the Claim
- Accurate medical records can establish that the claimant’s injuries are a consequence of the car accident. The physicians’ statements and reports about the nature and extent of the injury will support the claimant’s argument.
- A complete set of medical records can easily prove that the claimant’s injuries are not related to a pre-existing or underlying condition. The right medical documentation will include the treating physicians’ opinion that prove the injuries are new and resulted from the car accident.
- Medical documentation also helps determine the claim’s value. This is because medical records register how much the injury has cost the claimant in terms of medical bills. Financial costs incurred could be in relation to ambulatory services, treatments, surgeries, prescription drugs, hospital visits and rehabilitation. This information is important for the attorney to quantify the claimant’s damages and justify his/her settlement request.
- Medical records provide a clear chronology of the claimant’s injury and its impact. This data in turn helps establish the severity of the injury, how it will continue to affect the claimant, and estimated future medical costs.
Medical Review Companies Provide Customized Record Review Solutions
Personal injury attorneys utilize medical review solutions to have a clear understanding of the medical aspects of the case. These solutions include the review of each and every medical correspondence relevant to the case ranging from the initial visit to the last treatment session. The proper review report provided to the attorney helps build a strong foundation for the car accident case. Irrespective of the volume of medical documentation, a skilled medical review team can provide the required medical case chronology, and summary within the required turnaround time.
An experienced personal injury attorney will utilize the claimant’s medical records in the best way possible to obtain due reimbursement for the claimant.