How Important Is Medical Evidence in A Personal Injury Lawsuit?
In a personal injury claim, medical evidence is essential to success. The strength of the medical evidence directly correlates to the strength of the claim. These records are the foundational element of an insurance claim or lawsuit, akin to physical evidence in a criminal trial.
Common examples of medical evidence:
• Incident reports from the scene of the injury
• Emergency room records
• Doctor’s notes
• Photos of injuries
• Recommended treatment
• Patient notes
• Estimated recovery time
• Required ongoing medical therapies
• Medical bills
• Estimated future medical costs
Medical evidence serves to prove a few things. First, it links the accident to the injuries and establishes the connection necessary for compensation. Second, it shows the extent of the injuries and the immediate pain and disability after the incident. Third, it can show the long-term impact the injuries will have on the injured person’s life.
Different forms of medical evidence carry different weights. For example, notes and records from a treating doctor or specialist after the injury will have more credibility than those from a medical professional paid to testify. Courts will consider the influence money has on a hired expert witness and that they might be more biased toward the party that has hired them.
It is also important to seek treatment from medical doctors with a good reputation. Although some prefer to be treated by their chiropractors, massage therapists or acupuncturists, these professionals are not necessarily as highly regarded by insurance companies and courts as a medical doctor might be. It might be preferable to see a physician first who can give suggestions for other therapies that might be appropriate.
Getting the necessary medical evidence will make or break a personal injury case. After an accident or an injury, the person who has been hurt should seek medical attention without delay, even if they feel they can do without it. Waiting to be seen can exacerbate whatever physical damage has been done as well as harm a potential claim. They should also follow the treating doctor’s recommendations precisely and keep up with all follow-up appointments.
Insurance companies will take advantage of any chance they can get to discredit an injured person and minimize their pain to avoid paying a large settlement. A gap in treatment or failure to follow doctor’s orders can be just enough for an insurance company to decide that the claimant is not as injured as they say they are.
A Personal Injury Attorney Can Help
At Steinberg Law Firm, we represent clients in all injury claims, including those involving serious motor vehicle accidents. Steinberg Law Firm attorneys are both skilled negotiators and aggressive litigators who can handle both insurance companies and trial if necessary. To learn more about how we can help you be compensated for the injuries you or your loved one has sustained, call 843-720-2800, or contact us through our online form. We represent clients in Charleston and throughout South Carolina. The initial consultation is free, and because we offer a No Fee Promise, you pay nothing unless we win your case for you.