The objective of the American personal injury law is to help victims get the compensation they deserve for injuries caused by the negligence of others. But claiming even the rightful compensation takes a lot of work. As a victim, you have to bear the burden of proof to validate your injuries as real, compensable ones. Everything boils down to having robust evidence to substantiate facts. After all, you cannot expect the insurance company or court to believe word of mouth and compensate you with thousands of dollars. Let us explain the significance of medical records as evidence for personal injury claims.
Proving accident-related injuries
Personal injury compensation depends on validating that the injuries were caused during the accident. Of course, you cannot expect to claim compensation for a pre-existing condition that has nothing to do with the mishap. Only your medical records can prove that the injury is real and you sustained it during the accident. Moreover, they show that you underwent treatment for them during recovery. Typically, you will need records from the ambulance, emergency room, hospital, diagnostic centers, and physical therapy center to validate the entire treatment journey. Further, you will also require prescriptions and records for follow-up appointments as evidence in court.
Determining the extent of damage
Besides serving as evidence of your injuries, medical records help with the determination of the extent of the damage. It is crucial to understand the value of compensation you rightfully deserve. Medical records show the amount you spend on the treatment of accident-specific injuries. Moreover, they include the doctor’s prognosis for future medical needs and pain and suffering. For a catastrophic injury, they serve as proof of incapacity for the rest of the victim’s life. Your attorney can claim punitive damages in such cases by showing gross negligence. The value of punitive damages varies from state to state. For example, the maximum punitive award for victims in Georgia is $250,000. So you can connect with an Atlanta Personal Injury Attorney to maximize your claim. They will rely on your medical documentation to help you get justice along with the compensation you deserve.
Get an upper hand at the settlement table
Besides being valid evidence in court, medical records can also help with out-of-court settlements. Not all personal injury claims end up in lawsuits, as most people want to resolve them through settlement rather than trial. In this case, your lawyer can help you get the best bargain from the insurance company. Your medical records can work as a plus point as the insurance company will do its best to keep the evidence from reaching the court. They will rather close the case on the settlement table instead of fighting it out in court. Documentary evidence by licensed medical professionals gives you a clear advantage during the settlement negotiations.
Medical records can be the most valuable asset for accident victims, so make sure you have them at hand. Seeing a doctor right after the accident is the best way to ensure good documentation. Also, maintain the records and keep every bill and report in place.