Without detailed and accurate medical records, a personal injury claim usually won’t get very far.
Medical records speak to the extent of an injury after an accident. With detailed information, your personal attorney can fight for the right settlement—and provide proof that prevents insurance companies from offering low ball settlements.
Here’s more on disclosing medical records in a personal injury claim, along with why each document is important for a case.
Disclosure of Medical Records Personal Injury
Medical records are an essential component of any personal injury claim. They:
- Establish the injuries sustained in an accident
- Determine the severity of injuries
- Enable your personal injury attorney to craft a demand letter asking for accurate compensation
Today, many attorneys use secure online portals to receive client medical records from healthcare providers. Others submit written requests, which may take up to 30 days to receive.
HIPAA Laws Personal Injury Case
HIPAA laws still apply in a personal injury case. However, the at-fault party can request access to relevant personal injury medical records to try and poke holes in your case.
Therefore, the more detailed and organized your initial medical records are, the better. When plentiful and accurate, your health records may prevent insurance companies from disputing your case or making lowball offers.
Below are the types of the documents you need for a personal injury case.
A confirmed doctor’s diagnosis is one type of medical record you pretty much can’t go without.
A doctor’s diagnosis could significantly impact your personal injury case. It could increase your settlement, ensure that you’re given support with ongoing complications, and even result in compensation for things like mental trauma.
Line-Item Medical Bills
Any settlement should include reimbursement of paid medical expenses, as well as future or ongoing treatments caused by an injury.
To make things easy for an attorney, medical care providers can line-item your bills so each amount owed is listed separately.
Line-item medical bills you might submit include:
- Surgery costs
- Ambulance or emergency room charges
- Physical therapy or rehabilitation services
- Blood work and blood tests
- X-rays, Cat Scans, MRIs
With this info, an attorney can craft an accurate demand letter seeking the right amount of compensation.
Detailed Notes from Doctor’s Visits
From car crashes to slip and fall accidents to dog bites, the types of injuries that become personal injury claims or lawsuits can be wide-spanning.
That’s why detail matters. The more specific your doctor can be, the better.
Specific notes written from your doctor can add context to your injury and speak to the severity of your injury. Once more, getting these details can shut down an opposing attorneys and/or insurance company’s case against your settlement.
If possible, work with a doctor you know and trust. Since hand-written notes can be created after the fact, too, it’s helpful when a medical care provider can send documents online to your lawyer for easy retrieval.
Immediate damages play a huge role, but so does ongoing treatment, including prescription medications, physical therapy, and any other ongoing medical attention.
As part of your medical record packet, be sure to include costs associated with medications you’re taking as a result of your accident. Providing context as to why this medicine is necessary from a doctor could also be helpful.
Other Documents Needed
While you’re at it, there are a few other documents you can submit to strengthen your claim.
Unfortunately, PI victims are often forced to spend their own money prior to a settlement being issued.
Other expenses you may need to document and submit include:
- Home medical supplies
- Additional healthcare services
- Medical record printing or sending costs (if your healthcare provider still uses paper)
Organize this information in one area and include it with your medical records in a personal injury claim.
Photographs of Injuries
As the old saying goes, pictures are worth a thousand words.
Initial photos, as well as periodic images of wounds and/or injuries healing, can really make the case shift in your favor.
These files can also be a great supplement to doctor’s images like x-rays and MRIs.
In terms of fair compensation, one area that’s sometimes difficult to calculate is psychological trauma or anguish.
Documenting the healing process on a computer or with pen and paper is another document you create.
Continued writing of events could also strengthen your case, as the initial details of the incident will be part of a larger body of information.
What Medical Records Are Needed In a Personal Injury Claim?
So, what medical records are needed in a personal injury claim?
In short, as much relevant, thorough, and accurate documentation as possible. The greater the size of your paper trail, the harder it will be for the at-fault party’s insurance company to dispute the claim.
Request a demo today to see how ShareScape connects medical providers and personal injury attorneys for seamless, secure online medical record sharing.