Legal 8/28/19 – Medical Records / Auto Insurance / Violent Crimes – gtg





Your medical records are protected by federal law, unless you sign a HIPAA waiver, which gives your consent to another party — such as your personal injury attorney — to obtain them.

The question naturally pops up: What is your injury attorney looking for in your medical records? What do your medical records reveal about the accident?

What your accident attorney is trying to do is have your medical records tell a story of your treatment to the insurance adjuster. That way the adjuster understands what happened — what your complaints were, what tests were necessary, why specialists were called in, etc.

And to tell that story, a medical file can easily be divided into three parts — the notes, the diagnostic tests and the consultations. Each part must be analyzed in order to tell the whole story of your treatment. Your accident attorney must understand the contents of all three to put together a coherent narrative of your treatment from your car accident, slip and fall injury, construction accident or industrial accident.

The Notes

The doctor’s notes are a chronological description, by your doctor, of what happened in the doctor’s visit. They usually follow a pattern called that the medical schools call “SOAP.”

A good injury attorney knows that “S” is for your subjective complaints, where the doctor records what you are feeling in your own words; “O” is for objective symptoms that he can detect, like your temperature or blood pressure; “A” is for analysis of the two — subjective and objective — into a conclusion regarding your diagnosis; and “P” is for plan, what to do next.

Diagnostic Tests

The diagnostic tests are the next category of your medical records. These include all the objective tests of your condition that the doctor feels are merited by your subjective complaints and the objective symptoms. Diagnostic tests are procedures like x-rays, blood tests, CAT scans, MRIs, etc. Generally, your doctor’s analysis will lead him to a conclusion that can be either confirmed or eliminated by such tests.


The last category of medical records are the consultations. These are the notes in the file from other doctors. An example might be if you saw your primary doctor for neck pain and tingling in your extremities following a car accident. Your primary doctor might then refer you out to an orthopedic specialist for examination and treatment. The report of that specialist would be sent back to your primary, and kept in his records, as well as being in the records of the orthopedic specialist.

An Accident Attorney Must Understand the Medicine

In the right hands, the three categories of records in your doctor’s file can be put together to tell a story of your treatment. They will mention the pain you are feeling, that you described to your doctor in your subjective complaints. They will justify the tests that your doctor considered necessary to diagnose your condition. They will explain why a specialist was necessary for your case.

If you have been in an accident, then you need an injury attorney who understands the medicine and is experienced in handling injury cases. Even if you feel your complaints are minor, you should still speak to an attorney. Please contact us today for a FREE consultation.


State law in Texas mandates carrying a minimum auto insurance policy of $30,000/$60,0000, in case of a car accident.

These limits naturally give rise to two questions: First, what happens if the injuries in the car accident are more than the limits of the available insurance policy? Secondly, what if the other driver was breaking the law and not carrying any insurance of his own whatsoever?

What Happens When The Other Driver Does Not Have Enough Insurance?

If the other driver does not have adequate insurance to cover your losses, it is not necessarily all bad news, especially if you have under-insured motorists coverage through your automobile insurance company.

Why is not bad news? Because when the policy limits are low, your attorney can make a demand for the full policy and is likely to get it relatively quickly. For example, where your bills are $50,000 and the other driver has only the minimum limits of $20,000, the other driver’s insurance company is likely to offer up the full $20,000 to settle your claim without much resistance.

But doesn’t that leave you with a deficit of $30,000 in just medical bills alone? Yes, but if you purchased under-insured motorists coverage when you bought auto insurance, then that should kick in, so long as your attorney follows the proper steps in alerting them of the claim before settling with the other driver’s full policy.

If you bought $100,000 in under-insured motorists coverage, then there will be another pool of insurance money to go after, once the minimum policy limits of the other driver are tapped out.

But isn’t that your own insurance coverage? It is. But you bought it. You paid the premiums for it. It is available for circumstances like the ones described above. So you should use it, even though the other driver was really at fault in the accident.

What If You Don’t Have Under-Insured Motorists Coverage?

If you didn’t purchase under-insured motorists coverage with your auto policy, then what happens? To use the same example, if you have $50,000 in medical bills and the other driver is carrying the minimum $20,000, what happens then?

This is where things get difficult for you and your attorney. It is possible, perhaps, that the other driver with the minimum coverage has assets that you could go after, once you obtain a judgment. But very often, drivers who carry the minimum insurance limits don’t have assets to protect, which is the whole reason they carry the minimum in the first place.

It could be that the best your attorney could do for you, under these circumstances, is settle your case for the insurance coverage that is available, and then try to get your medical providers to reduce their bills, once they understand your situation. And that is not even a slam dunk.

What If The Other Driver Has No Insurance?

What happens under these circumstances is a combination of the above two posts. Hopefully, you have uninsured motorists coverage, which applies in just the same way as under-insured motorists coverage, only in this case, it applies when the other driver has no insurance, rather than just a low policy limit. If you don’t have uninsured motorists coverage and the other driver does not have insurance, it is likely that he does not have assets either, and you will have a hard time finding an attorney to take your case.













Violent crimes happen every day in Texas. Every night news media outlets run tragic stories about child sexual abuse scandals, rapes, stabbings, shootings, and murders. Many victims of violent crimes or their families do not know that they could recover damages from negligent property owners who failed to take reasonable steps to protect visitors to their property.

Texas Crime Victim Rights Lawyer

Our Law Office has helped victims of shootings, rape, child sexual assault, night club attacks, and drunk driving accidents throughout the State of Texas to recover compensation from negligent parties. Our office provides free resources to victims of serious violent crimes and works with a number of counselors and crisis centers to help victims after a serious crime happens. We have experience helping crime victims and a track record of getting results in difficult cases.

Who is held responsible in a crime victim rights case?

When we examine a crime victim rights case we determine if a property owner, landlord, apartment owner, security company, or other party could be held responsible for failing to take steps to prevent or deter crime. Most of the time these parties have insurance available that can be used to pay compensation to a crime victim to help them to recover from a crime. Examples of parties that could potentially be held responsible for a crime include:

Shopping malls
Parking lot owners
Apartment owners
Security companies
Night clubs
Private clubs
Colleges and universities
Gas stations
Convenience stores
Hotels and motels
Dorm owners
Other properties
Employers of child molesters

Getting Help with a Crime Victim Case

If you or a loved one has been the victim of a serious crime, contact a Texas Crime Victim Rights Lawyer from our Law Office to discuss your case. We understand that these cases are very difficult to talk about and are sensitive to the victims and their families. All of our consultations with crime victims or their families are kept strictly confidential. There is never a fee to discuss a case with a potential crime victim client or their family and all cases are handled on a contingency fee basis, which means there is no fee unless your case is settled or won in court.

Call us to discuss your case with a crime victim lawyer.


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