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When we try cases for clients who are injured in automobile and other accidents, we invariably watch them questioned incessantly and throughout their jury trial about what their medical records say and don’t say. Often, in their own hand, questions are answered on physician office intake forms in a way that makes the clients look dishonest. We know these misstatements and errors are most often completely innocent, but explaining it to a jury is virtually impossible when the client is before them asking for money for injuries.
Remember that your medical records are important. Not only does your doctor rely upon them in giving you medical advice and recommending treatment options, but if you are involved in an insurance claim, a disability claim, or litigation arising from an injury of any kind, lawyers will use them against you whenever and wherever they can. Be careful about how you answer the dozens of questions on the clipboard when visiting a new doctor. Think about someone questioning your about what you write in those forms, and even imagine if you are one of the unlucky ones who is later involved in an accident that is no fault of your own: could this be used against me? Mainly, you want to be sure you are painstakingly honest and precise as possible. Otherwise, you may find yourself hoisted on the petard of your own medical records when making an insurance or injury claim.