Your medical records are a crucial part of any claim you may have. They record the symptoms that were noted, the treatment that was given, who was involved in that treatment and what medications you were prescribed and received.
In many cases, they are the only real record of what happened and in some cases, medical records many years old have been important in proving a medical negligence case.
These records may be kept by hospitals, GPs, dentists and clinics. You are entitled to access copies of all of your medical records (unless it would be harmful to your health) and the only restriction on this is that you may be charged for the cost of producing copies.
Your medical records include notes made by medical staff, records of medication, photographs, printouts from monitoring equipment and copy Xrays and scans. They include any electronic records and this is becoming ever more relevant as more records are stored electronically. They should record the findings of examinations, any diagnoses made, treatment plans and discussions with you during your treatment.
Obtaining medical records does not generally provide a problem with medical negligence cases. While there may sometimes be a delay in accessing them, they are generally made available. A common problem is that handwritten records are sometime illegible but computerised records are helping in this regard. They frequently include medical abbreviations but these are generally well known.
Your medical records provide us with the raw material which we use (along with the opinions of legal and medical experts) to decide whether you have a valid claim that we think will succeed.*