Proper trial preparation is crucial for attorneys to strategically prepare for courtroom trials and legal hearings. As a medical record review company assisting attorneys for years, we know how important record review and analysis is for trial preparation. Trial preparation involves collecting and preparing materials relevant for a court case. The Judge as well as jury can also get a better understanding of the facts presented in a lawsuit with a clear medical summary prepared by medical record reviewers. Every important detail of the case must be monitored and studied properly to ensure that the case proceedings are managed well. While preparing for trial, lawyers will be busy dealing with collecting investigation reports, extracting data from client interviews, discovery process, medical record analysis, and other important responsibilities.
Each attorney has his or her own way of preparing for trial. Also referred to as hearing preparation, trial prep involves many processes including evidence gathering, interviewing witnesses, forensic and private investigations, preparing case theory, evidence analysis, creation of investigation reports, preparing witness testimony, medical investigations, and submitting trial briefs.
The first and most important step in preparing for a trial is to gather all crucial facts and evidence required for the case. Attorneys may also have to create extensive written notes for every aspect of the case. Failing to capture details in an organized fashion may result in missing out on valuable information. Evidence gathering mainly involves collecting medical records from providers. Once collected, these records need to be reviewed and organized, which is again a time-consuming task for attorneys and their staff. Creating medical chronologies and summaries is also necessary to understand the medical aspects of the case.
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Medical records help to prove whether the claimant is really injured and whether the defendant’s negligence caused the injury, and to assess damages and build the case. Medical records contain useful evidence for diverse litigations including personal injury lawsuits, criminal cases, workers’ compensation actions, disability determinations, and medical malpractice claims. These records include operative notes, test results, patient history, prescriptions, consultation records, and evaluations.
Medical review services for trial preparation include the following.
- sorting, organizing and indexing records
- identifying each and every care provider and ensuring that all their records are obtained
- developing a provider list to create a fact witness list as the case nears trial
- tagging and making copies of relevant pages in the medical charts that will serve as trial exhibits
- creating medical chronologies related to patient identification, medical care, diagnostic procedures, therapy notes, and treatment
- analyzing and summarizing depositions and past testimonies to identify inconsistencies in the medical records
A medical case chronology and summary helps other trial team members involved in the lawsuit to understand the medical issues involved. Proper trial preparation can prevent committing serious mistakes during trials. Attorneys can associate with medical review companies that provide professional trial preparation solutions such as organizing trial exhibits, getting documents ready for trial, and preparing trial binders. Proper medical record organization is also necessary to make the records easy to read and quickly navigable. This makes it easy to identify any missing records as well.
For the discovery process too, medical records are produced to the defense counsel in the affidavit of documents. The trial preparation process also involves preparing witnesses for direct testimony and cross-examination. To prepare expert witnesses for trial, attorneys must notify all parties of the trial date and times, and prepare them adequately. It is vital to review witness testimony and provide an idea on what to expect under cross-examination.
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