The Blog Formerly Known As Practical Paralegalism
Preparing a written summary of the medical records in a complex injury case, whether it’s medical malpractice, workers’ compensation, personal injury, or Social Security disability, is well worth the time. Reading and summarizing all records upon receipt may seem time-consuming at first, but is actually more efficient in the long run. In a busy practice, no one can memorize all of the medical records for each case. Without a written chronology or index, it can be difficult to find key medical records quickly, such as when your expert is on the telephone asking about particular records or dates of service.
Preparing a medical summary for each serious injury case, together with a well bookmarked PDF master file, is the best way to document the chronological history of medical treatment, including non-medical facts and evidence that are important to the overall narrative, and to have immediate access to critical medical information, especially when your firm has a high volume of injury cases.
A comprehensive medical summary can be used to:
- Evaluate alleged claims and defenses
- Identify missing medical records, witnesses, and evidence
- Reference while talking to clients, experts, and witnesses about medical issues
- Reference when drafting correspondence, reports, discovery, and pleadings
- Compare to medical bills to determine what is related to the alleged injury claim
- Prepare for settlement presentations, mediations, depositions, or trial
- Calculate statutes of limitations and avoid missing other actionable injury claims
Knowing and understanding the medical records in complex injury cases is critical. Preparation of a comprehensive medical summary that can be used at every phase of litigation, from case evaluation through trial, is a surefire way to ensure you can find the medical evidence quickly when you need it.
Want to know more about how to summarize medical records in complex injury cases? There are multiple chapters in the textbook I co-authored, Workers’ Compensation Practice for Paralegals, covering this very subject. Does your firm need a paralegal with over 27 years of experience reviewing and summarizing medical records to assist with overflow, back-burnered, or time-sensitive serious injury cases? Please feel free to contact me to discuss how I can help.