Why Your Medical Records Matter in Personal Injury Cases

The subject has come up too many times in the past couple weeks where clients are disputing what is documented in their medical records that were written by their own treating physicians. I will admit, prior to becoming an attorney in South Carolina, I would trust what the doctor told me in the private setting of the examination room. As Lee Corso says, “Not so fast my friend.”

It does not matter if you are being assisted by Medshore EMS at the scene of a motor vehicle collision or talking to your long time AnMed Family Medicine physician, those medical providers are documenting everything you tell them. As a matter of fact, the Federal Government has mandated all records be made digitally so you can even read the physician’s handwriting. Well that wasn’t their main reason for doing it but it sure has helped in reading Dr. Wadee’s records.

You have the right to request your medical records and you should do that on a quarterly to annual basis depending upon your frequency in medical treatment. (No, the discharge or checkout paper you get does not count as a medical record that is important.) It will help you see what information is documented from your visit with medical providers and also help ensure that your medical concerns and complaints are actually being addressed. Let me provide a news flash when that may become relevant…IN A PERSONAL INJURYCASE! 

If you are involved in some kind of traumatic incident (workers’ compensation claim, car wreck, dog bite, slip & fall, product liability claim, nursing home negligence, or medical malpractice case) and claim the injuries you sustained from that incident are all because of that traumatic incident, you have to prove it to be reimbursed by the evil insurance companies. Your back may be hurting but if just the week before you were complaining of back pains, the question becomes how much more, if any, is your back hurting from the traumatic incident. Don’t come in telling me your life is changed forever for the worst because of this traumatic incident but have no medical documentation to prove that claim.

As an attorney, I can not tell the evil insurance company that your doctor told you it was all because of the traumatic incident. Shockingly, the evil empire would not believe me or you. However, the evil tryanny sometimes believes what is in the medical records. Not all the time but let’s not get caught up in the fact that the evil empire will have a 22 year old college, educated adjuster make medical diagnosis and decisions. We will save that subject for another article.

Today, your take away is this:

  • You are legally entitled to a copy of your medical records,regardless if you owe a balance to the medical provider. Now there may be a copying charge or retrieval fee but you are still entitled to those printed and detailed records, along with your itemized bills. Click here to print off this page, if the gate keeper at your medical facility doesn’t believe you.
  • Do you really know what your doctor has documented? What do you think your doctor will depend on as the truth a year from their visit with you if asked by a lawyer? That exact conversation or their medical records?
  • What is documented in your medical records will help your recovery from a traumatic incident or help the evil empire against your recovery. So, if you are experience back pain, emotional trauma, sleepless nights, relationship troubles, and so forth, I better read it in the medical records or it is not happening!

***When I Googled “evil insurance companies” there was a link with a discussion of whether insurance companies were evil or stupid.  Although it was about health care, the liability insurance carriers are designed the same way, maximize return to their shareholders while minimizing the payout of claims (YOUR CLAIM). I thought this was a very interesting response:

Doug Dingus, Everybody pays, everybody covered


Insurance companies have a basic conflict with us in that their goal is to maximize for the shareholders, and that happens best when they deliver the least health care access for the most dollars.

So, the answer is by design, but said design is an artifact of our health care policy, meaning they are neither stupid or evil.

We can remedy this with regulation, or public primary care insurance, or competition, depending on how said competition is structured

Workers Compensation Lawyers in Anderson, SC

Why Do You Need a Lawyer for a Workers’ Comp Case?


Nobody wants to get hurt while they’re at work. You’re just trying to make money to pay your bills, right? But work injuries do occur, and it’s important for you to know what to do if it happens to you. We at Trammell & Mills Law Firm remind you to remember these three things: report it, seek medical attention, and get legal help to file a workers’ compensation claim.

Work injuries can vary, but some of the most common ones are cuts or lacerations, ligament sprains, muscle or tendon strains, bruising or swelling contusions, burns, eye injuries, bone fractures, and cumulative or continuous trauma. Other work injuries might include slips and falls, vehicle collisions, toxic fumes, or exposure to loud noise. Any of these might cause you to miss work while recovering.

If your injury requires you to go to the hospital immediately, do that first.  Otherwise, you should report your injury to your employer right away, so there will be a record that it happened. Make sure you tell your boss or supervisor, because the word of a co-worker isn’t always enough to prove your case later. You need proper proof you were injured.

Your employer should give you the name of a recommended medical professional where you can get proper evaluation and treatment.  Even if you don’t think it’s that serious, don’t put it off! Failure to report an accident within 90 days may disqualify you from getting workers’ comp benefits.

Your employer should guide you on the paperwork you need to fill out to file for workers’ comp benefits. But be warned—not all employers want to do this. They may be afraid their insurance premiums will go up, or that filing one claim might lead to other employees making claims. You have a legal right to file your claim, so don’t let them drag their feet.

That’s where expert legal guidance from Trammell & Mills can make a difference. We’ll help you push through all the paperwork get authorization for proper medical treatment. And we will fight hard to make sure you get fair compensation for lost income, or for any permanent disability or disfigurement from your injury. We won’t let your employer push you around.

Most properly-filed workers’ comp claim disputes are resolved through an out-of-court settlement with the employer.  Less than 10% are denied.  And about 5% of claim disputes actually go to a court trial. But taking on the legal red tape by yourself can lead to big disappointment…and losing money. Our goal is to make sure you get your medical bills paid for any work injury, and to get any income you’ve lost due to missing work.

Be safe in your workplace, but make sure you know what to do if you get hurt on the job. Let the professionals at Trammell & Mills Law Firm guide you through the workers’ compensation process. We’re local, we’re experienced, and we’re ready to fight for your rights.

Give us a call at (864) 485-8585.