Slip and fall cases in Philadelphia often require a plaintiff to take up the burden of proof and prove that the defendant has a case to answer. This means that all the documentations and evidence collection is left to an individual who has suffered the slip and fall. The whole case therefore hinges on how well a victim will present their case and with the medical records that will ascertain that injuries suffered were a direct consequence of the slip and fall.
What Is The Importance Of Medical Records
The annual direct medical costs associated with slip and fall injuries stand at $34 billion while over 700,000 victims are hospitalized with one out of every five suffering serious injuries. Getting a doctor immediately can prevent a percentage of these deaths and aggravated injuries.
Medical records are effective in proving the extent of harm that has been suffered. The medical records usually provide a stable ground for other evidence presentations including witness testimonies and video evidences.
Medical records and documentations establish a causal link between an accident and the injuries which establishes that injuries you sustained were from the fall and not from a prior incident. According to the National Safety Council Injury Facts, annual compensation for medical costs in slip and fall cases stood at approximately $70 billion.
What Is The Risk Of Not Having Records?
Without medical records it will be difficult for a victim to shoulder the burden of proof since there is usually no documentation that can support the claim and show the extent of injury. Medical records thereby become the cornerstone of a personal injury claim since they shut the door to any loopholes that may be used by the defendant in either claiming that the injuries were preexisting or filing for summary dismissal or summary judgement.
In a law suit for personal injury, the attorney for the defendant will always try to ascertain whether the due process was followed and this usually leads to questions that will cover the procedural approach taken. The questions include:
- What the amount of medical bills is?
- How long it took you to reach a medical care center or hospital?
- How far the hospital is from the scene of accident?
- Any medical treatment that was sought before and after?
With these questions, the defendant will focus on ensuring that you responded in the documented and prescribed manner to limit aggravating the injury. Aggravated injuries would mean they compensate for much more than they are liable for and this is why they target discrediting your procedural visit to a doctor.
Possible Consequences Faced
At the point of the slip and fall, the damage should never be underestimated and this dictates that a doctor should be the individual that examines the damage and makes the initial and objective observation of the injuries suffered. When time is taken, you often risk aggravating the injury which leads to severe harm which you might not get compensated for due to the initial injury not providing the basic conclusive evidence.
In Philadelphia, comparative negligence is an aspect that distributes blame for personal injuries suffered. If you delay in getting medical care, it can be argued by the defendant that your negligence is what led to you suffering those aggravated injuries and therefore, even if their client was responsible for the initial slip and fall, the damage is also on you for failing to get medical care to limit the damages.
In the comparative negligence argument, you may end up getting lower compensation for pain and suffering damages. This is due to the reduction in the multiplier coefficient which is a factor used in calculating the capacity of compensation depending on the medical bills incurred and earnings that have been lost.
A defendant often aims at making sure a case against them is dismissed. Failing to get medical care within the earliest period of a slip and fall can lead to them filing a summary dismissal case in a bid to prove that you did not shoulder the burden of proof by providing accurate medical records that detail the damage suffered.
15% of all accidental deaths can actually be traced to slip and falls which means failing to seek medical care can be fatal or lead to permanent disability.