Whether you have been injured in a car accident, a slip-and-fall, or another type of personal injury accident, proving your medical injuries is basically done the same way. For most injuries, proof must be made through medical providers. In some cases this must be done by having the medical providers testify at trial. In other cases this can be done by submitting medical reports and bills directly to the court. Here’s how it works:
Types of Medical Evidence Necessary
When an accident victim receives medical treatment, the provider typically generates medical records and medical expenses. At trial, the lawyers should prove a few things to the judge or jury:
- A description of the medical treatment
- The medical diagnosis/prognosis
- The fact that the medical problems were caused by the accident
- The medical treatment was necessary
- The medical expenses were fair and reasonable
- Proving medical injuries through rule 10-104
In “smaller” cases ($30,000 or less total damages) that are typically filed in the District Court, medical testimony is usually presented to the court without expert testimony. Instead, the courts allow auto accident victims to present their medical records and expenses through rule § 10-104 contained in Courts & Judicial Proceedings (part of the Maryland Code). Importantly, the defendant in a 10-104 case must be given at least 60 days’ notice of the victim’s intent to use this method and a copy of the relevant medical records and bills.
Using the 10-104 method is typically ideal in bench trials, where a judge is hearing the evidence. They can also be used in jury trials where the victim claims $30,000 or less, though it is going to be tougher for a jury to decipher the medical records. Judges see hundreds of automobile accident cases, and they are typically well-equipped to read and understand them.
Proving Medical Injuries With A Doctor’s Testimony
In Circuit Court cases, and where the cases have a value over $30,000, medical testimony is usually provided directly through a doctor or other medical provider. Because doctors are so busy (and expensive to get to trial), this is sometimes accomplished by taking the doctor’s testimony days or weeks before trial, recording it, and playing it in front of the jury at trial. The doctors, especially if they directly treated the accident victim, can give the jury a good description of what happened and what the victim’s condition is. The main advantage testimony has over medical records is that a doctor can describe the injuries and diagnosis in layman’s terms.
If you have questions after a personal injury accident in Maryland or West Virginia, contact us today at 1-800-776-4529. We have years of experience working with your physicians and other experts to prove your injuries and get the best settlement or verdict possible.