Car accidents — Investigation — Emergency room records

The hospital emergency room records are important in the investigation of your car accident lawsuit and your injuries by your personal injury lawyer.

The record usually contains the first documentation of your injury, showing your immediate medical condition. Furthermore, the record will have an accurate recording of your time of arrival at the hospital, and this may be important if the time of the accident is relevant.

Obtaining emergency room records

Your personal injury lawyer will get the emergency room records. However, your lawyer may need certain identification information from you, such as your date of birth and social security number. Also, your lawyer will probably need a release of medical information form signed by you.

The hospital may also require a fee for the records.

Content and uses of emergency room records

The hospital emergency room record is likely to have a description of your history and of the car accident. This may have been provided by you or by a family member or police officer. If the information was provided by a family member or police officer then it constitutes hearsay, but it is still important to your case.

The record may include your complaints or descriptions of pain or injuries from the car accident. Unfortunately, some injuries, such as back and neck problems, or pain in a joint, are overlooked in light of more dramatic injuries such as severely bleeding lacerations or simple long bone fractures.

The hospital emergency room record also lists prior medical conditions and current medications, as well as the diagnosis, course of treatment, and suggested follow-up care.

A copy of the hospital bill is also important. The bill lists in detail all treatment rendered, and is a measure of damages to consider in evaluating severity.