A personal injury lawyer Little Rock, AR trusts will tell you that in order to properly submit medical records in trial, you must lay the groundwork for doing so. Medical records are hearsay, and in order to allow the jury to view and consider them, you have to go through several steps in order to have them admitted as evidence.
First and foremost, submit a medical request to each medical provider enclosing a HIPAA-approved medical authorization for the release of the records. Ensure that you are requesting a complete set of records.
Receipt/Review of Records:
Once received, review records to ensure that they are in fact complete and confirm that they contain what you anticipated they would contain. Re-organize them with the assistance of a medical clerk if necessary and Bates stamp them for ease of reference for deposition and the trial.
Subpoena Duces Tecum to Custodian of Records
In order to lay the foundation and authenticate the records, it will be necessary to call the custodian of records for each medical provider as a witness to authenticate the original records. It is always easiest, of course, if the Defendant will stipulate to the admissibility of records in order to speed the trial along. This will prevent you from having to call the custodian of records for the simple purpose of authenticating the records. However, if he or she will not agree, or if the judge will not approve the stipulation, simply call the custodian of records for each medical provider to the stand.
Laying the Foundation: Rule 803(6):
In order to lay the foundation for the medical record, you must examine the custodian to confirm that (1) the record is a regular form of entry kept in the regular course of business of the provider; (2) the particular entry must be made in the usual course of business; (3) the entry must be made close in time to the fact that it purports to record. Prepare for objections, because most hospital certifications are deficient in some way. Also, prepare for a relevance objection to particular parts of the records.
At this point, after having the witness identify and lay the foundation for the records, authenticate them as a record of regularly conducted activity and move for their admission as an exhibit. Have your arguments prepared for objections to relevance, no undue prejudice, hearsay, and the best evidence rule. For these reasons, it is imperative to hire a veteran litigator and experienced trial lawyer to form a winning strategy that will best present your case to the jury.