During your workers’ compensation case, you will learn that your medical records and medical history are very important. They show the extent of your workplace injury, information about any past injuries, and often your ability to recover and return to work.
Do You Need to Request Your Medical Records?
If you do not have a lawyer, you may need to request medical records so that you have a copy. The workers’ compensation insurance company will send its own requests to your doctors. If the insurer does not send you the records too, you can ask it for them. Or you can go directly to your doctors.
If you have a lawyer, he or she will request records for you. You should tell the lawyer about any past medical treatment related to the injury, or related to old injuries affecting the same area of your body. For example, your lawyer will need to know about an old back injury if you now have a herniated disc. Provide your lawyer with a list of doctors and hospitals you visited back then (if you know) and more recently. Include any emergency rooms, urgent care facilities, physical therapists, and alternative medicine providers such as acupuncturists.
How Will the Medical Records Affect Your Case?
Medical records show the extent of your injury and the likely impact it will have on your future quality of life. Records such as X-rays and lab test results provide the insurance company with objective evidence that you have been injured and evidence of which future treatments you are likely to need. If your injury is well-documented in treatment notes, doctor’s notes, and other records, the insurance company may be more likely to compensate you for medical expenses. Also, the insurance company may be motivated to offer settlement as to a documented and obviously work-related injury.
If you are concerned that the paper trail for your injury is not strong, talk to your doctor. Maybe he or she can prepare more detailed treatment notes or prescribe tests that you have not had yet. Also, you may be able to track down older medical records or visit another doctor to beef up the record. But before you do any of this, talk to a lawyer about the strength of your workers’ compensation case.
Need help getting workers’ compensation for your injury? Joe Osterbauer, Esq. and the Osterbauer Law Firm stand up for injured Minnesota workers’ rights. Joe’s 27 years of workers’ compensation experience and his team’s speedy service combine to get clients the results they need. To schedule a free consultation, visit Osterbauer Law Firm online or call Joe’s office at (612) 334-3434.