What Medical Records Do You Need for a Car Accident Lawsuit in Massachusetts
Injuries are a significant part of a car accident lawsuit, and proving them might be difficult since the trial is often many months or even years after the accident. Your medical records are necessary to show the jury how seriously you were hurt.
Your medical records should contain an accurate and thorough history of your injuries and how you were treated. The extent of your medical records depends on your injuries and how doctors decide to treat your injuries. You might need records from the emergency room, surgery, prescriptions, and follow-up visits with your primary care doctor. Your records are important because they can help you prove the extent of your damage. The greater your damages, and the more evidence you have backing up your claims, the more compensation you might receive. Getting copies of your medical history should not be a problem because you are entitled to these records. However, they might take time to assemble, and we should send a formal request for copies sooner rather than later.
Call (617) 925-6407 to discuss your accident and medical records in a free case review with our Massachusetts personal injury attorneys at the Law Office of John J. Sheehan.
Medical Records You Need for Car Accident Cases in Massachusetts
Medical records are not usually maintained all in one place. You might have several different records maintained by different hospitals or doctor’s offices. Your records might also vary based on how you were injured and what kind of medical attention you received.
Emergency Room Records
In many car accident cases, accident victims are rushed to emergency rooms after the crash. Sometimes, they can get themselves to the ER. In other cases, they are taken by an ambulance or other first responders. You might not have selected the hospital emergency room where you were treated or the doctors who helped you, but that is where your medical records should be.
For some, the emergency room is just a precaution. They might not have been badly hurt, but they want to be checked out by a doctor just in case. For others, the ER is where they receive extensive, urgent, life-saving care. In such a case, your ER medical records might be voluminous and crucial to your case.
Records of Surgery
For accident victims with especially severe injuries, surgery might be necessary. You might have received surgery at the emergency room, and that surgery should be reflected in the records from your emergency room visit. However, not all accident victims receive immediate surgery. Your doctors might have pursued other treatment options before deciding surgery was necessary. It is also possible that surgery became necessary only after certain medical complications arose. In that case, you might have received surgical treatment later.
Many people are referred to other hospitals and doctors for surgery, especially if the surgery is complicated and requires specialized medical knowledge and skills. In that case, your surgical records might be in a different hospital.
Primary Care Physician Records
Not everyone goes to the ER after a car accident. Many people feel they do not need emergency care and instead see their primary care doctor. In other cases, people follow up with their primary care doctor after going to the emergency room. In either case, we need medical records from your primary care physician to help us prove your injuries and damages.
Even if you did not see your primary care doctor after your accident, those records might still be useful. For example, your medical records from your primary care physician might be used to establish your medical condition and overall health before the accident. This comparison might persuade a jury to award greater compensation for serious injuries. Contact our Wakefield car accident lawyers to help you with your case.
Prescriptions and Follow-Up Treatment
A big part of medical treatment, whether from the emergency room or your primary care doctor, is medicine, aftercare, and follow-up visits. Exactly what these records entail depends on the treatment you received and what kind of follow-up care you needed.
Prescriptions are an important part of your medical records. Even if you were only prescribed painkillers, the type and dosage of painkillers may shed a lot of light on your injuries. If you were prescribed high dosages of strong painkillers, the jury might be more inclined to award you damages for pain and suffering in addition to the economic costs of medical care.
Why Medical Records Are Needed in Massachusetts Car Accident Cases
Medical records are important in your car accident lawsuit because they can help us argue for greater damages and compensation. Medical care is a major expense, and the economic damages of treatment may be astronomical, especially if you do not have health insurance. Your injuries also contribute to pain, suffering, and other non-economic damages.
Using your medical records, we can establish the extent of your treatment and how much everything costs. We can also prove how much pain you were in and how it affected your life. Having thorough medical records may make a huge difference in compensation.
How to Obtain Your Medical Records for Your Car Accident Lawsuit in Massachusetts
Getting copies of your medical history should not be a problem because you have a legal right to request copies of your records. The only hang-up is that it might take some time to get the copies delivered to you. Contrary to what some people assume, medical records are not neatly filed away, waiting to be picked up. Instead, medical records are often scattered across multiple hospitals, departments, and filing systems. As such, it takes some time to get everything together.
Many hospitals and doctor’s offices have online portals where you can submit a formal request for copies of your records. If you were treated by multiple doctors in different hospitals, we must request your records from each hospital. If there is no online portal, we can call the hospital administrators and ask how to submit a formal request. Generally, the request must be made in writing.
Contact Our Massachusetts Car Accident Lawyers About Obtaining Your Medical Records
Schedule an assessment of your accident and legal claims with our Boston car accident attorneys by calling the Law Office of John J. Sheehan at (617) 925-6407.