Do I need a medical report to support my claim?
If you are claiming compensation for the injuries you have suffered as a result of your accident, the simple answer to this question is, YES.
All claims for compensation must be based on evidence. A crucial part of the evidence in support of the claim will be the report of an independent, suitably qualified medical expert. All Claimants will have to attend an examination with a medical expert in order to obtain this report.
However, there are different aspects to the claim and the medical evidence, although crucial, is only one part. It is important to understand the various aspects of the claim to understand the importance of the medical report.
The aspects of a compensation claim:
To claim compensation, the Claimant must prove three things:
1. Who is liable?
The Claimant must prove that the Defendant was wholly or at least partly responsible for the accident. The Defendant may admit liability at the outset or at a point during the case, but if not, the Claimant will have to prove the Defendant was at fault at a trial at court. The Claimant’s injuries are not taken into account when assessing liability.
The claimant must prove that the accident was the sole cause, or at least a cause, of the injuries. This can only be proven by the independent report of a medical expert.
The value of the Claimant’s injuries. If the Claimant has proven that the Defendant was liable for the accident and that the accident has caused the injuries, then the value of the claim will then be assessed. The value of the claim will be based on various pieces of evidence, for example, the Claimant’s Statement, documents in support of the financial losses, but the main piece of evidence will be the medical expert’s report(s).
N.B. In relation to financial losses, these must be supported by documents, but the medical report will still be a crucial piece of evidence to confirm that the financial losses resulted from the accident-related injuries. For example, for a claim for lost earnings, the Claimant must provide documents in support of the financial loss, but the medical report is required to confirm the injuries were the reason the Claimant was unable to work and that it was reasonable to be absent from work as a result.
How to obtain a medical report and what is in it:
To obtain the medical report, the Claimant will have to attend an examination with an independent and suitably qualified medical expert. The medical report will be based on this examination and possibly the medical expert’s review of the Claimant’s medical records.
The medical report will confirm the injuries sustained in the accident, the cause of those injuries and, if the cause is the accident, it will confirm how long the Claimant is likely to suffer from the injuries. This period of suffering is called the prognosis period. The value of the claim is essentially based on the type of injuries suffered, the length of time the Claimant will suffer from these injuries and the impact these injuries have had, and will have, on the Claimant’s life.
There may be other factors included in the medical report such as other causes of the injuries, the need for medical treatment, the need for a re-examination in the future etc and these will all need to be included with the assessment of the claim.
What happens with the medical report?
The medical expert will provide the report shortly following the medical examination. The report will be assessed by your personal injury lawyer and if the report confirms the accident has caused the injuries and confirms the prognosis period, we will advise you about the value of the claim and the next steps to progress the case. If the report does not confirm the prognosis period, we will provide full advice as to the further evidence required to support the claim.
How can Leech & Co help you?
As our client, Leech & Co will guide and assist you through every step of this process. You will be kept fully updated and advised at all times, but we will be available to you for any questions you may have or reassurance you may need. We will also arrange all medical treatment as recommended by the medical expert to ensure that you make as speedy a recovery from your injuries as possible.
Call us now on 0161 749 9000 for free initial advice and to discuss your accident and your injuries with one of our specialist personal injury lawyers.