Accident Victims: Understanding Medical Records And Your Case

Posted on: 10 September 2015


Were you injured in a car accident? If so, you are likely wondering what your case is worth. You may have even been contacted by an insurance adjuster who made a settlement offer to you. The medical records regarding your treatment are one of the determining factors in the amount of compensation you may be awarded. The following points will aid in helping you understand how a personal injury lawyer could use your medical record to win your case.

Documented Injuries

If you have documented physical injuries, these will likely serve as strong proof that you are injured. You should still use prudent judgment when dealing with the insurance company regarding your injuries, because it could hurt your case. For example, signing a release of your medical records without legal representation could result in the insurance company gaining full access to your medical records rather than a partial record. They could use the information found in your medical history to suggest that you had a pre-existing condition, and that your injuries are not from the car accident.

If there is no proof of physical injuries, a lawyer could still seek damages. For example, if there was a case of mental anguish, damages could be recovered, but proof of this would have to be documented somewhere in your medical records. This is why it is important to seek medical attention for all injuries, even if they are mental-health related.

Do not let the fear of paying the medical bills deter you from seeking help, because your case's resolution will likely include a clause for your medical bills getting paid. Keep in mind that subjective damages are harder to prove, which is why legal representation is important if you are seeking these types of damages. Examples of subjective damages include problems sleeping, depression, and future medical expenses. You can make your subjective damages case stronger by keeping a daily journal with entries about your emotions and appointments.

Ways Medical Records Regarding Your Case Are Used

Often, personal injury cases are settled out of court. Attorneys can use the information in your medical reports to get an idea of what a jury could award you if your case had to go through the full judicial process. The figures they come up with will likely be based upon their research for cases similar to yours.

Keep in mind that this type of research is likely too complicated for the average accident victim due to the variables that need to be considered. Insurance companies have legal teams who investigate and compare similar data. This does not mean that an insurance adjuster will make a fair offer to you, because their job involves saving capital for the companies they represent.

A personal injury attorney, like Charles Aaron PLC, is the best resource to use to get an idea of how much your case is worth. The medical records will serve as a baseline for determining whether you have a strong or weak case. If the lawyer you choose identifies elements of a strong case, they may be able to negotiate a higher settlement with the insurance company without you needing to endure a long legal battle.