Medical evidence is often a crucial element of a legal case, as it can provide substance to a claim that an injury was caused as a result of negligence or error by someone other than the victim.
In this guide, we outline the importance of gathering medical evidence and answer key questions regarding medical evidence for a case.
Why do I have to see a doctor?
The defendant, and ultimately a judge, will require proof as to what your medical injury is and how long it has affected you. The only way they can do this is by a doctor’s assessment.
The doctor must be independent from you and therefore cannot be your own GP, a hospital doctor or someone from within your own GP’s practice.
How quickly will I get to see a doctor?
We will instruct a medical agency to arrange an appointment with a suitable qualified doctor located as close to you as possible. If you receive the appointment and it is inconvenient you should contact the telephone number on the letter to rearrange it directly for a mutually convenient time. You do not need to tell us about the appointment as we get told by the doctor direct. The appointment will hopefully take place within 12 weeks – but will often be much sooner.
What will happen at the examination?
At the appointment, the doctor will ask you what happened and what symptoms you have had. You should also tell the doctor about any previous related injuries which you have been suffered from, as well as any prior accidents.
The doctor may ask you to complete a questionnaire with further information. The appointments can be quite short, as the doctor will already have a good understanding of your injury and the circumstances around it.
When will I see the medical report?
Following your appointment, we should receive the doctor’s report within approximately eight weeks, at which point we will send it to you and discuss any further treatment or evidence that may be needed.
If the report provides a final prognosis, we should then be in a position to advise you how much your claim is worth. It is important you check the report to ensure it is factually accurate, but it is not possible to change the doctor’s opinion.
Why do you need my medical records?
In a large number of cases, the nature of an injury might be clear and medical records may not be required at all. However, in some cases we need to obtain further evidence.
By law, medical practitioners are allowed 40 working days to provide records to us, but sometimes it can take longer. Many independent doctors will not see you until the records are received, so if you received any letters directly from medical professionals treating you, you should provide us with copies straight away.