In any personal injury lawsuit, medical records and medical chart review are the prime considerations because credible medical evidence is indispensable to claim a logical value for the injury. The injured person’s medical records would show all the medical encounters, providing valuable information such as the date and time of the injury, diagnostic studies that were performed, treatments provided and other details. Medical evidence obtained via a comprehensive medical records analysis enables attorneys to argue the case successfully.
What Is the Significance of Medical Evidence?
In a personal injury claim, there are three major considerations.
- Liability – This is regarding the entity responsible for the accident and subsequent injury
- Causation – Whether the injury was a direct result of the accident/whether it was caused by the accident
- Quantum – The compensation that may be due to the claimant/the injured party
Once the plaintiff has established liability, i.e. the defendant had been negligent or breached a duty of care owed to the claimant, the next step is to prove causation. It is to prove causation that medical evidence is needed. The plaintiff has to prove that the injury was caused or contributed to, by the accident. The medical report prepared after a detailed review of medical records will provide all details regarding the injury sustained, the impact of the injury on the claimant, and the expected recovery period. Besides this, the report will also contain details regarding any future medical issues that the claimant may experience as a result of the injury. Only after liability and causation are proved will the value of the claim or quantum be evaluated.
- The medical records enable both plaintiff and defense counsel to evaluate the injuries and the feasibility of the case.
- The medical records also provide information regarding the claimant’s pre-existing injuries, if any.
Medical Chart Review – a Helpful Tool for Personal Injury Attorneys
- It helps ensure that the medical records are accurate and useful to the case.
- Outsourced medical review services review the medical records scrupulously and identify missing records, if any.
- Inconsistencies or red flags in the medical chart are revealed through a chart review.
- In any injury case, the medical chronology or timeline of events is very significant. An accurate chronology can be prepared through the medical chart review.
- An accurate analysis of the medical records reveals the various treatments provided to the injured claimant, medical necessity, and the need for future treatments.
- Importantly, especially in medical malpractice cases, a chart review helps identify any purposeful tampering with the medical records.
- Any claim of pre-existing conditions can be endorsed or ruled out through a detailed review of the medical records.
The medical review report prepared by a professional medical chart review company gives all details regarding the damages involved as well as the pain and suffering of the claimant. Whether for the plaintiff side or the defense side, medical evidence obtained during the record review is invaluable for the attorney. Without an accurate medical record review report, it is practically impossible for the attorney to estimate the medical expenses, both current and future, related to the injury.
Important Role of Medical Records and Their Review
As the foregoing discussion clearly illustrates, the role of medical records and their review are very significant in personal injury lawsuits. Apart from their significance in providing the right medical services for a patient, medical records are also vital for insurance claims and lawsuits. Medical chart review provides attorneys involved in personal injury lawsuits with the evidence that is the most important factor in the injury claim. To reassert a point made earlier, accurate medical records and their review help prove economic as well as non-economic damages – income loss, treatment costs, pain, suffering and so on. By highlighting the severity of the injury and its extent and impact on the plaintiff’s life, the medical complications, medical expenses, the emotional distress caused by the injury, whether the claimant will be able to return to work, any restrictions imposed by the injury, future disability, recovery period and other details, a comprehensive medical review report prepared by a medical chart review company can help the attorney convince the judge of the reasonable value of the personal injury claim.