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What documents are important for a medical malpractice claim?

Current medical treatment involves a great deal of documentation, which is an important part of the current medical system. Documentation of the care and treatment given by physicians and nurses, as well as medications that are administered, including dosage information, and insurance records must be kept up-to-date. This documentation becomes essential if a patient is injured due to doctor error or other medical error and decides to pursue a medical malpractice lawsuit.

California patients who choose to pursue medical malpractice lawsuits may want to contact an attorney who is familiar with this area of the law. An attorney will want documentation of the events and treatment that led to a patient's injury or illness. What documents are important to provide to an attorney when pursuing a potential medical malpractice claim?

Medical and mental health records may be the starting point. These records will document the care or lack of care that a patient received. They may reveal evidence of a doctor's error in treating a patient. If a patient does not have his or her medical records in his or her possession, providing the names and contact information of a patient's treatment providers will allow an attorney to obtain these records.

Information related to a patient's health or disability insurance, as well as invoices and bills for treatment, may be useful. The amount charged for medical treatment, as well as whether a health insurance company denied payments for any reason, may be valuable information as a patient pursues a medical malpractice lawsuit.

If a patient desires to recover for lost wages due to missing work from his or her illness or injuries, it is essential to have documentation of any wage losses suffered. Records of wages received before and after the illness can help establish the wages lost.

This is not an exhaustive list of the documents that an attorney may need. An attorney experienced in medical malpractice law will be able to advise a patient as to what additional documentation may be necessary to pursue a lawsuit.

Source: FindLaw, "Documents for Your Attorney: Illness & Hospitalization," accessed April 10, 2015

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