The importance of medical records in medical negligence claims

If you have been poorly treated by a medical professional in a way which has caused you long-term damage or harm, you may wish to initiate a medical negligence claim against the professional or organisation involved.

Initiating a medical negligence claim can be a long and arduous process, and one which you need to appreciate can take many months or years to finally resolve. It can cause undue stress and worry whilst it is ongoing and it is for this reason that many people choose not to pursue a claim after all, however strong the case may be.. However, by being fully prepared and ensuring you have all the correct information to hand, and by appointing a sympathetic yet specialist medical negligence solicitor, you can massively reduce the stress and worries involved.

Getting hold of medical records

Under the Data Protection Act 1998, you are legally entitled to request full access to your medical files without having to give any reason whatsoever. This extends to records held by your GP, hospital, optician and dentist and records can be obtained often at no cost at all, but for a maximum of £10. Requesting your medical records can help to provide an important paper trail in the case where you might be considering claiming medical negligence compensation. This evidence should be sought at the earliest possible opportunity so that you can ensure you have all of the information to hand before starting to initiate a case. Getting of your medical records, which is absolutely critical to your case, is something that your solicitor will do for you.

It is recommended that you request your records before making the institution aware of the possibility of a medical negligence claim as it has been known for certain medical professionals to actively engage in altering medical records when they are requested in order to remove or redact certain information that may paint them in a more positive light.

It is also possible that medical records might, legally, sway the case in the favour of the doctor or medical professional but your medical negligence solicitor should be able to advise you of this upon seeing your medical records prior to making any formal application to court in respect of your medical negligence claim. Overall, you can be assured that the inclusion of official medical records will enable the court case to proceed far more smoothly and effectively and that it should be resolved in a fair and just manner according to the evidence provided.

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