What lawyers need to know about how a medical chronology is prepared

The health and medical condition of a person is a combination of various factors ranging from genetics, past and present environmental conditions, and lifestyle, among others. Making sense of all these can be difficult for a non-medical attorney handling a medico-legal case, such as a personal injury claim or a medical malpractice suit.

Importance of medical images in personal injury cases

When a plaintiff accuses another party of harming them and causing them grievous injury, the burden of proof lies on that plaintiff. However, the extent of some physical injuries can't be determined just by conducting a visual examination. In fact, some injuries affect internal organs and don’t show external visible signs at all, and the only way to see the harm suffered by the plaintiff is to take and examine medical images.

The role of medical records in workers’ compensation claims

Despite all safety measures that a business has in place, employees may still get into workplace accidents or suffer from work-related illnesses. When these situations occur, injured or sick employees (or their beneficiaries) in the United States can file for a workers’ compensation claim to secure the following benefits:

Medical care coverage
Income replacement payments for lost wages, if the employee’s recovery takes a long time
Coverage for new job role training, if the employee can’t return to their old job role
Long-term disability benefits, if the employee can no longer return to work
Payment for funeral expenses, if the employee dies

By having the financial means to receive healthcare treatment, injured or ill employees can hope to recover more quickly and thus get back to work faster.

The challenges of using radiology images in litigation

To strengthen their case during court trials, personal injury and workers’ compensation attorneys often rely on MRIs, CT scans, and other radiology images that depict their clients’ injuries or illnesses. Unfortunately, lawyers face plenty of challenges that prevent them from effectively using medical images in litigation, including:
1. Obtaining, storing, transporting, and viewing radiology images
Prior to digitization, doctors burned X-rays onto large pieces of film that would be held against a light box for viewing.