What Documents Do I Need For My Medical Malpractice Claim?
We put a certain level of trust in our medical care providers. When mistakes are made, we wonder what could have gone wrong. We were already struggling with our health, and now we must deal with the repercussions of a medical mistake and enter into a potential lawsuit. We understand that this is a trying time in your life, so we put together some things you may need to file away in case of a lawsuit.
Documents Typically Needed for Medical Malpractice Claims
It is essential to save all medical records related to the incident. This includes everything from doctor’s notes and test results to hospital discharge papers and bills. These records will be essential in building your case and proving that negligence occurred.
Generally, there are three different types of records to keep in any claim relating to medical malpractice:
1. Complete medical records – Include records for the recent procedures in question and those that may show any preexisting conditions (test results, prescription history, etc.) Providing photos and videos documenting your injury and recovery is also extremely helpful.
2. Complete Medical Bills. A record of your accounts is vital to see how much you are entitled to receive.
3. All Correspondence – Emails, eyewitness accounts, written correspondence, text messages, and more should be recorded, especially when communicating with your doctor or insurance company. If you receive any communication from the hospital or doctor’s attorney, that is also essential.
Why This Documentation Is Important In A Medical Malpractice Claim
Extensive medical records are important because they will help your attorney prove the elements of your case, understand the full extent of your injuries, calculate the value of your claim and determine what damages you are entitled to. Medical malpractice cases can be quite challenging to prove. Your attorney uses your records to understand the facts of the case, but they can also identify inconsistencies or irregularities that could be imperative to your lawsuit.
For example, suppose there was a failure to diagnose in the emergency room due to improper testing. The hospital may claim that you did not show symptoms warranting such tests, but by looking at your emergency room records, we can see your exact symptoms and what was reported on your file. With the help of a medical expert, an attorney may be able to prove that standard practice for your symptoms should have warranted further tests.
How To Obtain Your Medical Records
If you hire an attorney, they will assist you with obtaining all relevant medical records while you focus on your recovery. If you do not have an attorney, you may email the healthcare provider directly and request a copy of your medical records. Depending on the laws in your area, you may be required to pay a small fee for the records.
If you have Medicaid, you may be able to access your records online.
The Role Of An Attorney In A Medical Malpractice Case
Your attorney’s role in a medical malpractice case will be to investigate the claim, gather evidence, and represent you in court. They will look at the medical records you have kept and can make specific requests that may be vital to your case.
Hiring an attorney is sometimes vital to a lawsuit. In addition to handling the litigation, they will gather records on your behalf so you can focus on your recovery. If you feel that malpractice may have occurred, contact an experienced medical malpractice attorney today.