Challenging Altered Medical Records in a Medical Malpractice Case

Posted By Duncan Law Group || 29-May-2013

Medical malpractice lawsuits have been on the rise throughout our country over the last decade, and the Institute of Medicine estimates that preventable medical errors kill as many as 98,000 people every year. This costs our society more than $28 billion, and medical errors have even been classified as the sixth leading cause of death. Even though these cases are growing in popularity and have been increasingly featured on the news, winning a malpractice case for negligence is no easy task.

In fact, the opposite is true. The benefit of doubt in medical malpractice cases lies with the defendants (the medical professionals), so it is up to the injury victim or their family to prove each element of the claim. Even if you are able to determine the exact way that negligence occurred, securing enough proof to validate your assumptions and accusations can be exceedingly difficult. In order to show the mistakes that happened and prove that you were injured as a result, you will need the help of a skilled attorney who has extensive experience with medical malpractice cases.

The materials needed may range from patient medical records to the recollections of the healthcare professionals who provided the care. If you have filed a medical malpractice lawsuit against a hospital for nursing malpractice, the hospital will be required by law to provide access to the necessary information as part of the "discovery" process. Many times, these hospitals are less than willing to provide the necessary information, and will use every method possible to delay providing this information.

One of the worst tactics used is the altering of medical records that are critical to the accusations being made. Altering a patient's medical records can paint a false picture of the standard of care that was provided to that patient, which will wrongfully affect the outcome of a case. Since hospitals and doctors are the ones who have possession of these documents, the unlawful "doctoring" of these records happens more often than many people expect. As a result, our firm has taken steps to familiarize ourselves with the signs that show that these records have been altered.

For example, our Chicago medical malpractice lawyer will examine all of the relevant documents carefully to look for inconsistency between different types of records. We will compare nurses' notes to other patient records and doctors' notes to check for possible problems. Our team will also compare billing records to the documented care given in a patient's file. If you were billed for a service or visit, but that service was not documented in your patient file, it may be a sign that there is information missing from your record.

Whatever your injuries may entail, you can count on Duncan Law Group to go above and beyond in protecting your rights. Call Attorney Bob Duncan today to learn more about how you can recover maximum compensation for your pain and suffering.

Categories: Medical Malpractice

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