The Importance of Medical Records in a New Mexico Personal Injury Case

You may wonder why your legal team needs access to your medical history if you pursue a personal injury claim. Needless to say, it's understandable that many might initially feel uncomfortable with such a request. However, requesting this information is a crucial step in moving forward with your claim.

If your claim for personal injury compensation is successful, the amount you receive will be related to the specifics of your injuries. You'll need to be checked out by a doctor, who'll then write a report based on their examination and any pertinent information in your medical files.

Of course, most plaintiffs question how their personal information will be utilized while filing a claim. Thankfully, you. can contact our Albuquerque personal injury attorneys at Will Ferguson & Associates immediately if you have concerns about New Mexico's personal injury laws or want to understand why your medical records are important for your case.

Medical Records For Personal Injury Claims

As mentioned above, your medical provider will keep track of your injuries and subsequent treatment plans in your medical records. Your medical records are particularly helpful when it comes to a personal injury claim or workers' compensation claim for a few main reasons:

  • Diagnosis and treatment: Your medical records are essential because they will provide the doctor with all the information he or she needs to diagnose your condition, give you a prognosis, and anticipate any problems that may occur due to your injuries. Medical professionals will be better able to provide guidance based on an in-depth understanding of your medical history, including any previous diagnosis and treatments.
  • Cause and effect: Also crucial to your claim is an examination of your medical records, which may shed light on whether or not your damage was a direct result of the accident or the result of unrelated events. 
  • Preexisting conditions: Additional information that may be gleaned from your medical history is whether or not you were suffering from any preexisting conditions or symptoms before the event that may have contributed to the injuries you incurred. The incident may aggravate or hasten the progression of an existing ailment. If this is the case, your medical records will be invaluable in assisting your attorney in determining the extent to which the accident contributed to your injuries and how long it took you to recover.

With that said, there are myriad other ways in which obtaining your medical records would benefit your case. For instance, notes detailing your time at the hospital or with your doctor after the accident might help prove that the accident occurred as you reported, especially if there is a disagreement over the circumstances of the accident or the severity of your injuries.

Who Has Access to My Information During an Injury Claim?

The Importance of Medical Records in a New Mexico Personal Injury CaseYour legal team will review your medical records in depth once they have received them to see whether any information inside is relevant to your case. If you're filing a claim for medical malpractice or your personal injury case will involve expert witnesses, a medical expert may also get a copy of the records for examination and inclusion in their report.

Without your permission or a court order, neither your lawyers nor a medical expert may share your records.

Still, in certain situations, the other party's attorney may need access to your medical information for discovery purposes, or an at-fault party's insurance company may request these records. Though the court must provide your information during discovery, they must comply with HIPAA laws.

Furthermore, before releasing your documents to your lawyers, you may redact any private information that isn't directly related to your claim, such as the names of family members or other people who aren't in it.

Why Are Medical Records Important in Personal Injury?

After their initial investigation, your attorney will draft a settlement demand letter before going to civil court. This would be sent to the applicable insurance company in your case (for instance, an at-fault driver's insurer).

This letter will contain your lawyer's conclusions, citations to applicable legislation, a description of any required medical care, and a breakdown of the compensation you are due for your losses. Your attorney may even include a draft petition. By and large, this demand letter will include the following:

  • Incurred and expected medical expenses
  • The financial impact of job loss or loss of future earning potential
  • Pain caused by physical injuries

Documentation of your injuries and detailed medical records are particularly important here. Your attorney will keep advocating and negotiating until a favorable resolution to your claim is reached, but when an insurance claim cannot be resolved with the help of an adjuster, filing a personal injury lawsuit in New Mexico's courts may be necessary.

Going to trial is a last resort, but it will be your best option to move forward if an insurer does not fairly compensate you for your injuries and other losses. You have entered litigation after you have filed your petition in the court with jurisdiction over your matter.

Under New Mexico's civil procedural laws, each party has up to 30 days to respond to the complaint. Taking depositions is another method used during discovery. A deposition allows both sides to question each other under oath. It is normal practice to take depositions from witnesses and other involved parties. As an added bonus, it may be used in court as proof.

Contact a New Mexico Personal Injury Attorney 

At Will Ferguson & Associates, our clients are important to us. We have assisted victims of vehicle accidents, dog attacks, and other injury-causing incidents for decades and can also help you. Additionally, in cases involving personal injury, we work on a contingency basis, which means you owe no fee unless we recover compensation for you.

Call our personal injury attorneys at Will Ferguson & Associates at (505) 243-5566 to determine whether you are eligible for compensation for your injuries. We'll walk you through collecting your medical records, establishing your case, and, if necessary, going to trial so that our team ensures you have the best possible chance of securing justice.

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    1720 Louisiana Blvd NE #100 Albuquerque, NM 87110
    Rio Rancho

    333 Rio Rancho Boulevard Northeast Rio Rancho, NM

    1720 Louisiana Blvd NE #100 Albuquerque, NM 87110
    Rio Rancho

    333 Rio Rancho Boulevard Northeast Rio Rancho, NM

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