If you are ever involved in an accident that results in injury, you may be entitled to compensation. If the incident was not your fault, you should not have to carry the financial burden that the injury induced. However, before you can receive compensation for the cost of your injury, you have to prove that the other party caused it. In a personal injury case, this causation is most often established through medical evidence. Medical evidence is utilized to establish that the injury was caused by the accident, and is used to determine the compensation that needs to be provided.
Personal Injury Cases
Personal injury claims fall under the category of civil cases. Civil cases occur when citizens or companies sue each other in court, and do not involve the breaking of a criminal law.
Personal injury cases commence when an individual undergoes harm as a result of the actions or negligence of another individual. If the defendant is found liable, their insurance company is responsible for monetary compensation for the injured party. This monetary compensation can cover medical bills, pain and suffering, lost wages, and other expenses.
In civil cases, the plaintiff has something called the burden of proof. This means that the plaintiff needs to prove their claim by affirming that their case is more than 50% likely to be true, providing a greater weight of evidence than the defendant.
What Counts As Medical Evidence?
According to the Social Security Administration, medical evidence can be composed of copies of medical records, doctor’s reports, X-rays, and recent test results. It can also include testimony from a physician or other care provider. Medical evidence can provide answers to questions like:
- What injuries, illnesses, or other medical conditions do you have?
- When did they start?
- How do they limit your daily tasks?
- What were your medical test results?
- What kind of treatment did you receive?
Value of Medical Evidence
Medical evidence provides value by justifying that the plaintiff’s injuries occurred as a result of the defendant’s actions or negligence. This causation is sometimes easy and sometimes very difficult to establish.
For example, if a drunk driver crashes into a vehicle and causes injury to a young woman, the drunk driver is liable for the medical expenses incurred by that injury.
On the other hand, consider this scenario: a drunk driver crashes into a vehicle and causes an older woman to suffer whiplash. However, this is not the woman’s first accident. The woman underwent back surgery three years ago as a result of a fall. Additionally, she was involved in a serious car accident in her mid-thirties.
In the first claim, it would be extremely clear that the drunk driver caused the young woman’s injuries. However, in the second claim, it would be much more difficult to prove the woman’s medical issues were fully caused by the drunk driver, and not partially by her two previous incidents.
These two examples illustrate why it is extremely necessary to have sufficient medical evidence in order to be successful in a personal injury case.
Medical evidence is also imperative when determining the compensation amount owed for medical bills and other damages in a personal injury case. Insurance adjusters and/or juries get involved in a personal injury case by evaluating the cost, quantity, and type of medical care the plaintiff received. These evaluations will be used to asses the damages incurred.
For instance, consider a man that gets struck by an automobile while biking. He decides to take an ambulance to the hospital and gets checked out by a physician. He discovers he has a broken wrist, and goes to subsequent appointments for x-rays, cast application, checkups, and cast removal. After these appointments, he makes a successful recovery.
This man’s lawyer can easily prove that all of his treatments were necessary and that the accident directly resulted in the injury. Therefore, the man should receive a fair settlement from the insurance company.
Now consider the same man who gets struck by an automobile while biking. He decides to tough it out and see if his injuries heal on their own instead of taking the ambulance immediately after the crash. A week later, the man has finally had enough of the discomfort. He goes to the doctor and discovers that his wrist is broken. However, he doesn’t want the hassle of a cast, so he decides to use a brace to help his wrist heal. He recovers, but his wrist is never the same as it was before.
The second individual will have a much harder time receiving compensation for his injury. Insurance adjusters will argue that he was not hurt badly because he did not go to the doctor for a week. They will also see his lack of treatment as evidence that his injury was not severe. This person will most likely receive a smaller compensation than the first individual.
Have You Been Involved In An Accident? Contact Us Today!
If you are seeking an attorney for a personal injury case, we can help. Personal injury cases deserve to be handled with delicacy and professionalism, so let the Law Offices of P. Kent Eichelzer III help you today. We have offices conveniently located in Woodstock and Marietta, GA. Don’t wait another minute; contact us today to set up a free consultation!