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How Does a Personal Injury Lawyer Use Medical Records for a Client’s Case?

Medical records can make or break a personal injury lawyer’s case. These critical documents provide a story of one’s medical history and personal injury lawyers must do their research to ensure their case includes solid proof of injury.

Published on:
February 2, 2024

Medical records can make or break a personal injury lawyer’s case. These critical documents provide a story of one’s medical history through detailed documentation by doctors, hospitals, therapists, specialists, and more. As a personal injury lawyer builds their case, the insurance company for the individual at fault will scrutinize the claim in an attempt to discover weak points. Personal injury lawyers must do their research to ensure their case includes solid proof of injury caused by the at-fault party.

What is a personal injury lawyer?

A personal injury lawyer is a legal professional who specializes in representing individuals who have been physically or psychologically harmed as a result of the negligence or wrongdoing of another individual, company, government agency, or entity. Personal injury cases typically involve situations where someone has suffered injuries due to accidents like slip and falls, medical malpractice, product liability, or vehicle accidents. 

Their primary goal is to advocate for their client’s rights and seek compensation for the damages they have suffered. This compensation can cover medical expenses, lost wages, pain and suffering, emotional distress, or other related costs. The only way for personal injury lawyers to obtain the medical data needed to fight these cases is through obtaining their client’s detailed medical records.

What medical data is most vital to personal injury law?

Medical data is central to personal injury case outcomes for several reasons, including:

1. Establishing Causation

Medical records establish the connection between the injuries suffered and the incident that led to the personal injury claim. They help demonstrate that the injuries were a direct result of the defendant's negligence or wrongful actions.

2. Determining the Extent of Injuries

Medical records provide detailed information about the nature and severity of the injuries sustained by the client. This information is essential in determining the extent of harm, which directly influences the amount of compensation sought. In some cases, injuries require ongoing medical treatment or future surgeries. Medical records establish the necessity of such care and can be used to estimate the associated costs, which are considered in the calculation of damages.

3. Expert Testimony

Medical experts play a key role in personal injury cases. They may review medical records, testify about the nature of the injuries, or provide expert opinions on the long-term consequences of the injuries. These testimonies can significantly impact the outcome of a case.

4. Documenting Pain and Suffering

Medical records often contain information about the pain, suffering, and emotional distress experienced by the client as a result of the injuries. This documentation is valuable in seeking non-economic damages in a personal injury case. When defendants argue that this pain and/or suffering were pre-existing, comprehensive medical records can establish a clear connection between the claim and client’s distress.

5. Negotiating with Insurance Companies

Insurance companies often require thorough documentation of injuries before agreeing to a settlement. Strong medical evidence enhances the client’s negotiating position and increases the likelihood of reaching a fair settlement.

Expediting the process with Artificial Intelligence (AI)

AI expedites the medical record management process for personal injury lawyers in a variety of ways. By harnessing algorithms and machine learning, AI streamlines the traditional time-consuming task of reviewing extensive medical records. Automated document extraction capabilities allow for the swift identification and extraction of relevant information. AI assists in organizing and summarizing complex medical data, providing lawyers with a quick and comprehensive overview. By automating repetitive tasks, AI technology like Wisedocs can enable legal professionals to focus on strategic aspects of case preparation, leading to increased efficiency and improved outcomes for their clients.

Alanna Andersen
Content Writer

Alanna Andersen is a professional freelancer in the art of writing, editing, and proofing. In her past life, she was a Booking Agent and Tour Manager in the music industry and restaurant General Manager in bustling downtown Toronto, Canada. As an avid researcher, she enjoys learning new things and expanding her knowledge. In her spare time, she enjoys travelling around the world, spending time with her cats, dancing to live music, and watching horror films.

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