In most situations, your medical records are personal and confidential. In other words, unless you specifically allow another person to look at your medical records, your injuries, your diagnoses, your prescriptions, and your treatment history are not disclosed to strangers. This is not the case when you claim another person’s careless or reckless behavior caused you to suffer injuries in a Virginia personal injury lawsuit: in this context, your medical records are critical – and discoverable by the other party. Not only does this mean you must be prepared to provide certain access to your records to the attorney for the other, negligent party (or the other party, if the other party is not represented), but you should also be conscious of what you say and do when seeking treatment for your injuries.
Building a Better Medical Record for Your Personal Injury Case
Your medical records can make or break your personal injury case. Thorough and complete records can be conclusive evidence of the extent of the harm you suffered at the hands of another, while incomplete records can be the reason a judge or jury refuses to award you compensation. These tips will assist you in building a better medical record for your case:
- Seek treatment promptly and follow all directions given by your doctor – Failing to promptly seek medical care after your accident, not following your doctor’s treatment directions, and/or failing to keep follow-up appointments can all suggest that your injuries are not as severe as you may be claiming they are.
- Provide a narrative for your injuries when you first seek medical care – Be specific about how you were injured when asked by your treating doctor. This is an important opportunity to share your version of events that led to your injuries. Failing to do so can lead the other party to cast doubt on the true reason for your visit to the doctor or emergency room on the date of your accident.
- Be specific about your aches, pains, and limitations – every time – You may need to visit a doctor multiple times over the course of your treatment plan. Each time you do, be specific and detailed about what parts of your body hurt and any limitations you are experiencing in movement or activities. This provides powerful proof to judges and juries about any lingering effects that you may have from your injury accident. (Note, that you should not exaggerate your symptoms – this can lead your doctor to claim you are not being truthful with your reports, which can severely impact your credibility).
Contact Our Personal Injury Law Firm Today
If you or a loved one has suffered injuries in an accident that was caused by another party’s negligent or reckless actions, contact a Virginia personal injury attorney from Shapiro, Washburn & Sharp to find out what legal recourse you may have. It is critical to remember that Virginia has placed a statute of limitation on how long victims have to file a personal injury lawsuit against those responsible for their injuries, so do not delay. Failure to file before that legal deadline could mean you lose any chance of ever filing your claim or getting justice against the person responsible for you or your loved one’s injuries.
Contact our office today to schedule a free and confidential case evaluation with one of our dedicated Virginia accident attorneys. You may be entitled to financial compensation for medical expenses, loss of income, pain and suffering, emotional anguish, permanent disability, scarring, and disfigurement.
- Virginia Car Accident Claims and Lawsuits
- Pedestrian Accident Injury Claims
- Steps to Avoid After a Car Accident