What Medical Records Do You Need to Support a Car Accident Claim in Miami?
Evidence supporting your claims is important to any lawsuit. One of the most effective ways of displaying to the jury and the court how serious your injuries are and why you need financial compensation from the defendant is evidence detailing your medical treatment for your injuries. Indeed, records of your injuries and treatment for them are central to car accident lawsuits – or indeed any lawsuit based on personal injuries.
You should try and obtain as much medical information as possible to support your claims in court. The most important information to get is the extent of your injuries, the cost of medical treatment, and your expected prognoses. However, any and all relevant medical information can be helpful to you and strengthen your case.
If you or a loved one needs help with a car accident-related matter, call our Miami car accident lawyers with The Law Offices of David I. Fuchs, Injury & Accident Lawyer, at (954) 751-4258.
Important Medical Records to Obtain for a Miami Car Accident Claim
In general, you should try and obtain all the medical records you possibly can to support your car accident claim. However, time, access, and relevance make it so that some medical information needs to be prioritized as more important. Our Miami personal injury lawyers have compiled a short list of what we feel are the most important details to get out of your medical records when preparing a car accident lawsuit.
Extent of Injuries
One of the most important things that you need in your medical records for a car accident lawsuit is some record of the extent of your injuries. This is important because a significant portion of your damages will be based on how seriously you got injured. Moreover, you do need to prove in court that you were actually injured in order to have the defendant held liable, and medical records detailing your injuries are an excellent way to facilitate that. You can also help prove the extent of your injuries through photo evidence or witness testimony. Photos could be part of medical records, and you may be able to get a medical professional to testify as to your condition right after the accident.
Time and Date of Treatment
Another important piece of information to have in your medical records for a car accident lawsuit is the time and date of your injuries. Nailing down the time and date of your injuries can have a very important effect on your car accident lawsuit. Defense attorneys may argue that your condition after the accident was the result of something that you were already dealing with beforehand. However, if you can establish the date and time of your injuries and treatment through your medical records, you can help refute that potential assertion by the defendant.
Cost of Treatment
The cost of your medical treatment is another important piece of medical information that is critical to your lawsuit. Part of what informs the amount you are awarded as damages is the cost of your medical treatment. This stems from the idea that damages have the purpose of making the plaintiff “whole” again. In this instance, part of making a plaintiff whole is recouping costs for treating injuries.
It is important to factor in not just the cost of medical treatment you received to treat your immediate injuries but also any potential long-term treatments such as physical therapy or round-the-clock medical assistance. Although you may not have records for some of these things, as they have not happened yet, your prior medical costs can potentially help inform the cost of those things. For example, information detailing your prognosis – how your condition is expected to develop over time – can indicate whether medical professionals expect your injuries to have lingering or permanent effects or if the injuries from your accident will resolve themselves at some point in the future.
How to Obtain Medical Records for a Car Accident Claim in Miami
In addition to knowing what medical records are most important for a successful car accident claim, it is also important to know how to obtain them. The most direct way to obtain medical records is to simply ask your medical provider or the location that treated you for your injuries to give you copies of those records. In virtually all circumstances, medical providers will give you copies of your own medical records. However, on the off-chance that a medical provider does not want to comply with your request, our South Florida personal injury lawyers can try to persuade them that giving you your own medical records is important.
There is a nominal cost associated with obtaining your medical records from practitioners in Florida. Under Fla. Stat. § 456.057, medical providers can charge you for the costs associated with copying your records. This will include the time medical professionals spend copying your records as well as copying fees. However, this charge cannot go above the actual cost of reproducing your records. Medical providers are not allowed to overcharge for record reproduction.
What to Do with Your Medical Records During a Car Accident Claim
In the leadup to a car accident lawsuit, it is very important that you keep track of and do not lose any of your medical records. It is advisable to put them in a secure location like a dedicated file or a safe, or alternatively, our lawyers can hold onto those files for you until legal matters have resolved themselves.
Talk to Our Miami Car Accident Lawyers About Your Case
To get a free review of your case, call our Orlando car accident lawyers from The Law Offices of David I. Fuchs, Injury & Accident Lawyer, at (954) 751-4258.