One of the most crucial aspects of your injury case is your physician and the medical team working on getting you better.
Injuries you suffer that become the subject of an injury case might differ from those of a person in a similar accident. Therefore, your medical records, diagnosis, and the testimony of a physician will play a role in proving that your injuries are legitimate and the compensation you request justified.
Having a doctor that can testify about those injuries and a doctor that has a solid reputation, can make your case much easier. In contrast, a doctor who has a poor history or incomplete medical records could harm (if not erase) your case.
In this article, we will focus not only on the role of your care team, but also on the medical records that the team produces. After all, both are submitted into evidence to prove your case.
Receiving Treatment Immediately from a Louisville Physician
After an accident, it is imperative that you seek medical treatment from a physician quickly. The initial treatment and the medical records generated from that treatment are crucial to your case. These records establish a timeline and connect the accident to the initial injury.
Your physician will have more credibility than a hired physician for testifying. Therefore, tell your physician how the injury occurred and details of the accident. It is important that you do so immediately after the crash. If you fail to seek medical treatment right away or you only do so after talking to an attorney, your physician’s diagnosis and their records lose credibility quickly.
Also, the defense will have grounds to argue that you had a pre-existing condition or another incident caused the injuries you now claim came from the accident.
Tips for Your First Appointment
Whether an emergency room physician sees you or you visit your family physician, you need to tell them that you are the victim of an accident. Make sure it is noted in the medical records that an accident caused your injuries. Discuss all symptoms, but do not exaggerate. You want an accurate diagnosis, but you also want the right treatments so that you can feel better faster.
Follow-Up Treatments or Rehabilitation
Depending on your diagnosis, you may have multiple follow-ups, see specialists, and even go through a rehabilitation period.
As the victim, you must follow your physician’s orders related to these treatments. Your care team will prescribe things you are to do at the office and also steps you should take at home to decrease your recovery time. Failure to follow these recommendations could make it harder to receive compensation for your injuries.
By creating a follow-up and treatment plan, your physician is helping establish the prognosis and outlook for your injury. They can better testify to what they expect in the future – including whether they think you will recover fully.
Your Physician’s Reputation and the Impact it Has
Unfortunately, some physicians have a terrible reputation when it comes to personal injury cases and their connection to a law firm.
When the only records you have to prove your injury stem from a physician with a bad reputation, it makes it harder to win the case. That is why your attorney will work alongside medical experts who have a positive reputation, including your family physician. This helps to prove the diagnosis, records, and treatments prescribed came from a credible source – not someone being paid to share an opinion.
How Medical Records Impact the Case
Your care team controls your medical records. Therefore, they must be as accurate as possible when it comes to your diagnosis, prognosis, treatment, and details about your injuries.
Here are just some of the ways medical records can influence a case:
- Calculating the proper amount of damages. The most significant role medical records play is damages. These records provide proof that you were injured, the treatments you received, reasons for those treatments, and future treatments. Official hospital records, doctor’s appointments, medical billings, and meetings with rehabilitation and therapy professionals will all paint a clear picture of the injuries you sustained.
- Prompting an independent medical examination. The defense has the right to use their physician to examine your records and perform a physical examination of you. They will do so for a fair assessment of your injuries and the extent of treatments you need in the future. A jury may consider these records from the defense’s IME as part of your damage award too.
- Medical records are honest. One reason medical records play a pivotal role is that they are honest. It is a crime to falsify medical records. Therefore, you can use these to paint a reliable picture of your injuries and the compensation you deserve.
Create the Proper Foundation with the Right Doctor and the Right Attorney
If you have suffered severe injuries in an accident, you need to establish a foundation of compelling evidence. First, seek medical treatment from your family physician or the emergency room. This starts the chain of credible medical evidence.
Second, meet with an attorney like Seth Gladstein who has experience handling injury cases. He can help gather evidence, ensure records are accurate, and help negotiate a settlement with the other side by using the power of medical evidence to get you the compensation you deserve.
To get started, speak with a team member at Gladstein Law Firm, PLLC by calling 502-791-9000 or request more information online.