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Automobile Collisions / Workers' Compensation

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Medical Record Summaries as Evidence

Medical record summaries as evidence can be submitted in a personal injury motor vehicle accident case or a workers compensation hearing in Wisconsin in one of two ways.  Medical summaries are very helpful in proving medical treatment of a long period of time.  It can be submitted as substantive evidence under Wis. Stats. Sec. 910.06  Summaries:

"The contents of voluminous writings, recordings or photographs which cannot conveniently be examined in court may be presented in the form of a chart, summary or calculation. The originals, or duplicates, shall be made available for examination or copying, or both, by other parties at a reasonable time and place. The judge may order that they be produced in court."

Where the preparer is without personal knowledge, however, the books and records must themselves be admissible.  Tri-Motor Sales, Inc. v. Travelers Indemnity Co., 19 Wis 2d 99, 119 NW 2d 327 (1963). Where summaries were testified to in detail, explained, and verified  by the drafting party, and corroborated by an expert witness, they were properly admitted into  evidence.  Valiga v. National Food Co, 58 Wis 2d 232, 206 NW 2d 377 (1973).

Often such a summary will be offered through an expert who has reviewed the records in their entirety and then compiled the summary based on his personal knowledge of the underlying records.  Under Wis. Stats. Sec. 907.03  Bases of opinion testimony by experts:

"The facts or data in the particular case upon which an expert bases an opinion or inference may be those perceived by or made known to him at or before the hearing. If of a type reasonably relied upon by experts in the particular field in forming opinions or inferences upon the subject, the facts or data need not be admissible in evidence."

If the summary cannot be submitted as substantive evidence under Sec. 910.06, it may still be used by the attorney as demonstrative evidence in argument.

At McCormick Law Office in Milwaukee, our attorneys regularly represent injured workers with thousands of pages of medical records documenting a work-related medical condition or injury that may have been treated over many years.  If we are proving that a client's job duties over time contributed to his neck or low back disc injuries, we always chart the doctor appointments and medical tests that correspond with the job duties over the years.  Then we ask the expert physicians and surgeons if the job duties caused the spine injury or degenerative condition and the permanent work restrictions.  Medical record summaries as evidence or charts give us the best results when lined up with the work history.

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McCormick Law Office
829 North Marshall Street
Milwaukee, WI 53202

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