How medical records are used as evidence in Texas personal injury cases.
When someone files a personal injury suit, they're alleging that their physical body has undergone damage. For most injuries, it's not exactly apparent how much you're hurt. For example, if you or a loved one experienced a serious brain injury, then it will be difficult for the victim or you to adequately explain how the brain is effected. While detailing symptoms can help a jury understand a problem quite well, the jury needs to be convinced of the underlying problem's existence and its ramifications.
In this article we'll explain how medical records serve as an important piece of evidence in a personal injury case.
Questions Answered on This Page:
- How do medical records factor into a personal injury case?
- How are medical records admitted into evidence?
- Do I have to let my medical records be used in my personal injury case?
Getting medical records admitted into evidence isn't that simple.
Remember, we want only reliable evidence before a jury. We don't want accident scene photos from another accident, we don't want witnesses who didn't see the incident at all, and we don't want someone else's medical records. The bottom line is that the court will not just take your word (or your attorney's word) that the medical records offered into evidence are yours, all of your medical records, and yours alone. Instead, your lawyer will have to get your medical provider to submit them for you, in essence.
This process requires your lawyer's firm to contact all the medical providers you've gone to and formally request that they submit your medical records in courtroom-form. This will require a printout of everything, plus a verifying affidavit that swears under oath that the medical provider is including true copies of your materials. This has to take place within a specified period prior to trial.
Your medical records can greatly increase the value of your case.
Even the most emotional testimony from you about how the accident left you with serious injuries is often no match for cold, hard data. Imagine a victim on the stand tearfully testifying that she can't move quite as well as she used to. Now imagine a gruesome spine x-ray accompanied by a doctor's notes that "patient's L4 almost completely gone, no hope for recovery, paralysis likely in future." One moves the heart-strings, but the other will make a juror terrified for the victim. This is because people naturally respond more to evidence that they consider to be objective.
And that's the point. Even openminded jurors might be a little suspicious of a plaintiff claiming an injury. After all, we've all been hurt here and there, but most of us don't make a lawsuit out of it. But medical records add "bone to the flesh" of your testimony by providing medical evidence from a doctor with no stake in the litigation at all.
Only hire a lawyer who knows how to use medical records correctly.
It's hard to overstate the importance of having an experienced lawyer at the helm of your case. After all these years of helping injured people, we've absorbed a fair amount of medical science. But we know our limits. We routinely hire the best experts available who, with a background in medicine, get into the nitty-gritty for the jury so that the jurors can actually understand your medical records. Don't trust your case to a lawyer who thinks he or she can "wing it" in front of the jury. Hire one that gets it. Call us today at (855) 326-0000 to discuss how we can make sure the jury hears your whole story.
Other articles about personal injury cases that may be helpful:
- How to Recover Out-of-Pocket Expenses After an Accident
- Does a Judge or Jury Decide Who Is Responsible for an Accident?
- Elements: What You Have to Prove to Win Your Personal Injury Case