Personal Injury

Do I need a doctor to prove a personal injury claim?

Chandler | Conway

Chandler | Conway

Wednesday July 18, 2012

The short answer is YES.  This is a question you will have to discuss with your injury lawyer; however a personal injury claim is essentially you requesting compensation for injuries you sustained because of another person’s wrongful acts.  Whether you were injured in a car accident, bitten by a dog, hit by a semi truck, or any other type of personal injury accident, you will need evidence to support your claim.

In personal injury cases there are generally two hurdles for you and your attorney to get over.  The first hurdle is liability, or proving who caused the accident.  In a clear liability claim where the other side’s attorney is willing to admit liability, we are left with the second hurdle, which is damages.  Doctor testimony or evidence relating to medical treatment is crucial for proving up your damages.

Damages in an accident injury claim, or car accident insurance claim, are broken up into two categories, special damages and general damages.  Special damages are damages that are objective and can be calculated in a specific way (i.e. medical bills, lost wages, prescription costs, etc.).  General damages are more subjective and difficult to quantify (i.e. pain & suffering, inconvenience, loss of enjoyment of life, etc.).

Treatment providers are key in proving damages, specifically special damages such as medical expenses and prescription costs.  It is important to have a medical expert so the injury attorney representing you on your accident claim is able to lay foundation for your medical evidence and get an opinion on your physical condition admitted into evidence at trial.  You need a medical expert to explain your diagnosis and your prognosis; your current situation as well as your expected future situation.  As your personal injury lawyer will tell you, the strength of your accident injury case weighs heavily on your medical expert and the opinion he or she will give in a written opinion and/or at trial.


Chandler | Conway

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