Motor vehicle accident is one of the most common types of personal injury cases. Millions of people become injured each year in motor vehicle accidents. According to the report from the Association for Safe International Travel (ASIRT), more than 38,000 people die every year in crashes on U.S. roadways and an additional 4.4 million are injured seriously enough to require medical attention. Such personal injuries and other losses are eligible for compensation, if the injury for the driver, passenger, or pedestrian is due to someone else’s negligence. Personal injury attorneys collect relevant medical records from claimants to support their argument in the court. Attorneys often rely on professional medical review services to analyze, interpret and organize these records. The patient record review process is time- and labor-intensive for insurers as well as law firms.
In a personal injury lawsuit, medical records are essential for many reasons – as evidence not only of the injury but also that it was caused by another party’s negligence. To proceed with a personal injury claim, it is important that the claimant or the lawyer requests medical records as soon as possible after the accident. The medical records, created shortly after the accident, will be of great importance in preserving the injured person’s rights, if they pursue a personal injury case or settlement. For late medical treatments, insurers may claim that there isn’t enough evidence to show that your pain or injuries were caused by the accident itself.
Having these records handy will also help the legal team to thoroughly understand the claimant’s medical history to proceed with the case. Medical documentation also helps in negotiating a settlement, as it usually provides (directly or indirectly) a medical professional’s opinion on the cause of the injuries and medical treatment the claimant has to be compensated for.
Medical Records Required for Vehicle Accident Claims
Car accidents may cause internal injuries, back and neck injuries, aches and pains, whiplash, a herniated disk or more. For lawsuits and for insurers to check the eligibility, often the medical records of post-accident treatment is necessary, which includes –
- Paramedic/ambulance records
- Emergency room/clinic records of the initial treatment
- Admitting charts and notes
- Medical history, physicians’ and nurses’ notes
- Prescription records and photographs of bruises or surgical scars
- Medical narratives, diagnosis and prognosis
- Imaging studies and all test results
- Consultations, referrals and correspondence
- Records from follow-up appointments
- Physical therapy records
- Bills for all treatments
The more severe the injuries, the more medical records will be needed. It is important for the collected medical records to provide a complete summary of all the treatment, current medical status, and future needs. It should provide a full description of the injuries from immediately after the accident through all the treatment, the outcomes, and the amount of medical bills due to the accident.
While taking support from companies providing medical record review for personal injury law firms, attorneys must ensure that the company adheres to HIPAA standards and has strict data security policies. Experienced companies provide a thorough analysis of the medical records and identify all elements contributing to the injury.
Disclaimer: This content is for informative purposes only and does not constitute professional legal advice. For a professional opinion, consult a personal injury or medical malpractice attorney.
Read our blog on How Claimants Can Support Attorneys In Documenting Accident Reports