Leveraging the Impact of Medical Evidence in Personal Injury Cases
When we think about how to win a case, one might think of an intense and professional investigation full of twists and turns. But while some personal injury cases can be dramatic and challenging, not everything we see on TV actually happens in real courtrooms.
To build a structured case and ensure a win, it is necessary to understand not just the accident and how things happened but to be aware of what’s happening with the client in consideration of potential injuries that might not have manifested yet.
To prove liability and secure fair compensation in personal injury cases, it is crucial for the injured party to present medical evidence.
Why Go To A Doctor After An Accident?
After an accident, it is necessary to seek professional medical assistance, even if you think your injuries are minimal and there is apparent cause for alarm. You need to see a doctor for the following reasons:
- Seeking medical attention from a healthcare provider or medical specialist can help ensure that injuries are properly diagnosed and treated.
- Having a medical professional document for your injuries and treatment is crucial evidence in a personal injury case. This document can help establish physical injuries, the accepted condition and extent of your injuries, and the cause of the accident. All these will increase the chances of winning your personal injury case.
- Medical records can also be used to determine the amount of financial compensation you may be entitled to for your injuries — depending on the medical expenses.
How Are Medical Records Admissible In California Court?
Medical records are admissible in California court as evidence in a personal injury case. California Evidence Code § 1271 states that records of regularly conducted activity such as medical records are admissible as evidence if the custodian of the records or another qualified witness testifies to their authenticity.
The main function of medical evidence is to guide the court and the judges to make rational decisions in their judgments. Medical evidence or medical notes from a doctor, nurse, or another qualified witness that can testify, can help determine the cause of injuries and psychological damage, their effects on the victim, and if the injuries could lead to a serious or lifelong medical condition.
Medical records can be used in court not just as evidence of injuries but also to establish the cost of medical care, loss of wages, and other economic damages.
How to Use Medical Evidence to Strengthen Your Personal Injury Case
As we already mentioned, medical evidence in personal injury cases plays a crucial role to help establish the extent of an injured victim caused by the accident. There are several key purposes of medical evidence, and experienced injury lawyers utilize these records to build a case. Medical records are needed to:
Prove the existence and severity of injuries
Medical records and expert testimony can be used to establish how the injured party was harmed and how the injuries and property damage affect the victim. This is important to demonstrate the nature and extent of the damage caused by the accident and for determining the amount for monetary compensation.
Medical evidence can prove to be instrumental in determining liability by confirming that the injuries endured were caused as a result of the accident. Studies, research, and medical literature can all help to support the argument that a specific injury was caused by the accident. To establish causation, it is important to show that the injury was caused by the direct or indirect actions of another person. Evidence of this kind can be used to demonstrate that the defendant was at fault and should be held liable for damages.
Rebut defense claims
Expert testimony can be used to disprove any argument made by the opposition, including that injuries existed before the accident or were unrelated to it. This can be done through medical evaluation, accident reconstruction, and other analytical means. If your legal team can provide sufficient evidence to contradict the defense’s claims and show that the other party was responsible for causing your injuries, then you may be able to win a settlement or judgment in your favor.
Identify future medical expenses
Medical records can also be used to establish the need for future medical treatment and the associated costs. This is necessary to determine the amount of financial compensation for future expenses, even including wage loss benefits.
Medical documentation is crucial. If we don’t count any medical evidence, the case can be difficult to deal with. For example: what happens if a person cannot produce medical evidence in an injury claim in a car accident?
Even if an injured person has evidence of his car accident — such as photographs of the scene, witnesses, etc. — without strong and convincing medical evidence, it can be difficult for the injured party to prevail in a personal injury claim.
Lack of evidence can make it challenging to establish liability, causation, and extent of injuries. It may be difficult to show that the other driver was at fault and that the injuries were caused by the automobile accident. In the absence of clear and compelling medical evidence, insurance companies and aggressive adjusters may reject the claim or offer a low settlement amount. Without medical evidence, it may be difficult to prove the case in court.
What Is Considered Substantial Medical Evidence?
Substantial evidence means evidence sufficient to support a conclusion. It must be enough to determine whether or not something is true, and it must be more than just a guess or speculation.
In terms of accident claims, substantial medical evidence refers to all relevant medical records, test results, and other documents related to the incident as well as personal statements from doctors or other healthcare providers. These records must be detailed enough to meet the criteria for substantial evidence to be accepted in court.
The goal of substantial medical evidence is to provide an accurate picture of the claimant’s condition, its severity, and how it affects their daily living activities or ability to work. The evidence should also demonstrate why the claimant cannot perform their current job duties successfully or any other job for which they are qualified. In some cases, substantial evidence may include statements from family and friends testifying to the claimant’s condition as well.
Some types of substantial medical evidence are:
- Medical Records: As we discussed earlier, medical records such as doctor’s notes, laboratory results, and treatment plans can provide essential information about the injured person and why they were hospitalized.
- Medical Testimony: An expert medical testimony can provide medical opinions on the extent and causes of the injuries, as well as physical evidence of long-term effects or consequential conditions.
- Medical Images: X-rays, CT scans, and MRIs can provide visual evidence of the damages caused, be it physical harm or psychological impairment. Such proof is invaluable for verifying any current disabilities sustained due to an incident.
- Treatment Records: For example, medical care, physical rehabilitation, and any necessary surgeries.
- Diagnosis: Establishing an accurate medical diagnosis is essential in understanding the seriousness and cause of injuries or death during accidents. Circumstantial evidence may be helpful, yet determining the severity of a patient’s injury trajectory and whether long-term care facilities are needed, as well as if they have chronic diseases or critical illnesses that could lead to a risk of fatalities such as cardiovascular illness, cerebrovascular diseases, pulmonary hypertension or infection makes for more reliable proof. Elderly patients tend to especially experience these types of conditions.
To present types of evidence that can help you win your case, it is also necessary to have legal representation that can also help you to provide trustful and professional medical care and archive all this information for you.
Call Award-Winning Personal Injury Attorneys In California
At Farahi Law Firm, our team of personal injury lawyers, medical experts, and case handlers are committed to advocating for justice and fair compensation on behalf of those who have suffered a personal injury. We provide the legal expertise needed so you can focus on your recovery without worrying about fighting for what is rightfully yours.
We provide the highest quality medical care with a no-fee guarantee, meaning that all your costs are covered while we build an unbeatable case in support of you. Our contingency fee structure allows you to move forward with the legal proceedings without having to pay us until we have won your personal injury claim — giving you the opportunity to focus on recovery and healing.
Call us now for a free consultation! We are here for you 24 7. We speak English, Spanish, and Filipino.