Medical Causation Often Overlooked in Personal Injury Claims : Blog : Personal Injury & Auto Accident Attorney | Boteler, Finley & Wolfe - Mobile, AL

Medical Causation Often Overlooked in Personal Injury Claims

- By: Knox Boteler Date : Oct 1, 2014

No matter the type of personal injury -  automobile accident claim, worker’s compensation claim, longshoreman’s claim, slip and fall claim, or product liability claim - an often overlooked legal issue is medical causation.  In any personal injury case, the burden is on the injured person to establish the incident/accident caused or was the contributing cause of the injury.  Said another way, proof that an injury “could have” or “possibly” resulted from an incident/accident does not meet an injured’s legal burden.  Instead, it is necessary the evidence reflect that the injury “more than likely” or “ to a reasonable degree of medical certainty” resulted from the incident/accident.  While typically this “test” requires the testimony of a doctor, the courts often look at the full context of all the lay and expert witnesses’ testimony before determining whether the injured person has met his/her burden.  This said, in a majority of personal injury cases in the southeast, testimony from the injured’s treating physician is often sought to satisfy the medical causation “test.”  As a consequence, it is important, if not critical, for the injured person to be patient and forthright with his/her treating physician.  Additionally, it is important to explain the mechanism of injury to the doctor early on so that the provider’s records provide a date certain the incident/accident causing the injury occurred.

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