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personal injury

How are Medical Records Used in Personal Injury Cases?

Car accidents, slip and falls, workplace accidents, product liability, medical malpractice, and other personal injury cases usually include one thing: injuries. Your medical records will definitely document your injury and treatment.


medical records for personal injury


It’s not enough to say that you were hurt. Some injuries may affect you for the rest of your life. In order to collect compensation, you’ll need to prove how you were injured, and how that affects your everyday activity. A detailed record of your medical injuries and treatments are a graphic illustration of your suffering and go a long way in demonstrating the type of injury and possible negligence if a medical malpractice case.


Why Medical Records Are Important To Your Case

Your records are the substance that backs up your personal injury claim. These records help establish the presence and the extent of injuries and help your attorney draft an accurate demand letter for compensation. Without them, proving your case may be difficult and you may not receive adequate damages.

While a deposition, written statement, or court testimony is important, the records provide documentation and proof of your injuries. A statement or court testimony offers the description while the medical records provide the necessary data.


Obtaining Your Medical Records

You can request your own medical records, but it may become costly. Doctor’s offices frequently charge by the page for medical records. Some may be uncooperative.

The Texas Medical Practice Act (TMPA) requires healthcare providers in Texas to provide you access to your own healthcare records.

The Health Insurance Portability and Accountability Act of 1996 is the federal law that protects patients’ access to their own medical records. As of April 5, 2021, providers are required to give patients immediate access to the information found in electronic medical records (EMR) without charge. This information includes doctor’s notes from the consultation, procedure and progress notes, results of any imaging or lab testing, and notes regarding discharge. Records from a provider’s online “patient portal” are included.

Your accident attorney can help you obtain your medical records. You’ll need to sign a consent form for the attorney to access them. Discuss any relevant medical conditions you may have—such as an old sports injury—with the attorney to delineate accident-related injuries from anything unrelated. Once obtained, the attorney will review the records to begin working on your case.

It’s possible for your attorney to limit access to the defendant’s side to only accident-related records and restrict them from obtaining additional information that could be considered sensitive.

Never give your medical records to anyone but your personal injury attorney. Refer calls from an insurance adjuster, the other party’s legal counsel, or anyone else who calls or writes inquiring about your accident to your attorney as well.


What About Pre-Existing Injuries?

Many defendants use the defense that they were not responsible for their injuries because they were previously injured elsewhere, especially in car accident cases. They want to acquire those records so that they can work to discredit your claim based on prior injuries.

Medical records demonstrate and explain the injuries you have from the accident. These records will also show the details of a pre-existing injury and how it is or is not affected by the current accident. The same records will show causation or the relationship between the accident and the injuries caused by the accident.


Let Paxton Law Represent You For Personal Injury

Injury due to someone else’s negligence may mean you could receive compensation. Your medical records are key to showing the extent of your injuries and collecting the maximum compensation available. Contact Paxton Law Firm today by calling (281) 978-2244 or filling out our online contact form. During your free consultation, you can learn more about your legal options.


Contact Us (281) 978-2244