What Role Does a Medical Case Chronology Play in a Personal Injury Case?

by | Published on Jun 22, 2020 | Medical Chronology

A medical case chronology saves attorneys considerable time by providing a succinct reference of all medical information relevant to the personal injury case. Attorneys may not be experts in analyzing medical records; they also don’t have time to spend handling the voluminous and confusing medical records. Therefore, they go for a medical review service that can provide accurate medical chronologies and summaries that are so vital to the case. Let us look at what comprises a medical chronology and medical summary and how these are important in a medical malpractice case.

A medical chronology is a medical timeline that clearly specifies what happened to the claimant or the allegedly injured plaintiff during the medical treatment. It is a written document that provides a list of the medical events applicable to a particular personal injury case in chronological order. Important information contained there in are date and time of visit, healthcare provider(s), type of service, and outcome of medical event. Typically, page number and hyperlink of referenced information are also provided for easy perusal and understanding. It is important that medical chronologies avoid the use of medical and legal jargon, abbreviations and shorthand to ensure that the content can be understood by even untrained audiences.

A medical summary comprises the medical case chronology and a detailed summary of each medical event listed in the chronology. The summary would contain details regarding the injured person’s medical condition, provider details, tests performed, diagnoses, current treatment plan details, prescriptions and dosage. If any major surgery is involved, or equipment such as pacemakers, hearing aids and so on were used, those details will also be included in the summary. Medical summaries can be detailed or brief, and is provided according to the attorney’s preference.

Medical chronologies are useful for medical malpractice and personal injury attorneys when discussing settlement, where these documents help strengthen their case by highlighting facts that favor their case. If the case is not settled and goes on to trial, these timelines will prove useful to provide the necessary information to a jury. Besides, these help in preparing pre-trial motions, and summary judgment motions. Medical summaries are useful for attorneys to determine whether the case has merit. Attorneys use these documents to prepare and present exhibits, establish the intensity and impact of an injury, and also respond effectively to cross questioning by a judge or prosecutor. Medical chronologies and medical summaries no doubt help generate a conclusive and undisputable compensation request.

When a clear timeline of medical events is available, it is easier for attorneys to develop a strong argument, whether for the plaintiff or the defense side. With the preparation of chronologies and summaries entrusted to a medical review company, attorneys and their staff can focus on more core aspects of the case. Moreover, with complex medical terminology, abbreviations and other problems out of the way, attorneys have a clear view of the procedures performed, and their outcome. Everyone involved in a case can clearly understand the events that occurred at particular points in time so that there are no issues. Medical summaries also help attorneys understand the prime focus of the case so that they don’t lose direction, caught up in the numerous complicated details. Medical timelines and summaries are prepared after reviewing the medical records in detail. So, these also help identify information gaps, missing records, and fraudulent entries if any.

When preparing a medical chronology, it is important to ensure that you have the complete set of medical records. To avoid confusion and disputes at a later stage, it is best to obtain signed certifications from each provider. The chronology must be comprehensive containing all available and relevant information. It is also advisable to refer to each provider and organization using a specific name for enhanced clarity.

A medical case chronology is valuable in any personal injury or medical malpractice case. Without a clear chronology, it is easy for the attorney to get lost in complex medical facts and the sheer volume of medical records. In a medical malpractice case for instance, an accurate chronology helps the attorney understand whether a medical negligence actually occurred, when it occurred, and at the hands of which provider. In fact, by providing a clear view of the medical events, it helps attorneys prepare their case well and go on to win the case.

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