How are Prior Earnings & Medical Records Used in Personal Injury Cases?
When you file a personal injury lawsuit in Colorado, the defense immediately begins trying to ascertain whether your injury claims are legitimate. They do this to build their defense and expose any holes in your case, and they will use any means necessary to do this. This includes reviewing prior earnings and medical records.
In the preliminary stages of a personal injury case, you will be required to allow defense attorneys the right to obtain copies of these records by signing authorizations. It is critical that you disclose everything about your prior earnings and medical records to your Colorado personal injury attorney prior to this occurring. Any evidence that could affect your personal injury case should not be kept from your attorney.
MEDICAL RECORDS – WHAT DO THEY INCLUDE?
Medical records are of utmost importance in personal injury cases. Defense attorneys will try to prove that you had previous injuries already or that you were not as injured as you claim. They might review:
- How many appointments you missed or cancelled
- How many medications you didn’t fill
- Did you attend physical therapy as ordered
- Were you compliant with all doctor’s orders
- How did you rate your pain at doctor’s visits
- Did you have any past injuries or medical conditions
If you fail to disclose a prior injury or your testimony contradicts what the medical records indicate, your case will be compromised—and your integrity tarnished.
Prior Earnings History – May Support or Crash Your Personal Injury Claim
Records of prior earnings will be used to determine if you lost as much time off of work and as much money as you claim. They will look at how much you made and compare this to your absentee record or workplace injury record. If the defense can prove that you missed work frequently already, then they may be able to avoid paying you as much for lost wages. They will also obtain copies of your social security records and tax returns to compare your earnings and work history to your testimony.
If there is something in your medical history or prior earnings history that you believe will jeopardize your case, it is imperative that you disclose this information to your Denver personal injury attorney as soon as possible. Your attorney will know how it is best to handle this information, but he or she can’t help you if you aren’t honest. No matter how far back you think this information is hidden, defense attorneys are skilled in digging it up.