The Impact of Medical Record Errors in Workers’ Compensation Cases

It’s important to understand what to do if you suspect errors in your medical records. Our experienced workers’ comp attorneys can help you navigate this complex process.

Medical records serve as a timeline of a person’s medical history and treatment and play a crucial role in workers’ comp cases. Here’s a closer look at the role these documents play in workers’ comp.

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medical records being examined by a nurse

Evidence of Injury

Medical records can provide concrete evidence of an injury, including the date and time it occurred, the symptoms experienced, and any diagnostic tests or imaging results. This information can be used to demonstrate that the injury resulted from the employee’s job duties and not a pre-existing condition.

Treatment Received

Medical records can also show the type and duration of treatment the employee received, including any prescribed medication and referrals to specialists. This information can be used to determine the extent of the injury and the necessary level of care.

Ongoing Effects of the Injury

Medical records can also document any ongoing effects of the injury, such as reduced mobility or the need for ongoing therapy. This information can be used to determine the employee’s level of disability and the appropriate level of benefits.

How Errors Occur in Medical Documentation

Despite their importance, errors can occur in medical records. Here are 3 common ways:

Human Error

Medical professionals are only human and can make mistakes when recording information. This can include transcribing information incorrectly, mistaking one patient for another, or forgetting to record important information.


Medical records are often compiled from multiple sources, including doctors, nurses, and other healthcare professionals. Miscommunication between these sources can lead to discrepancies or missing information in the records.

How Minor Errors in Medical Records Cause Big Problems

While some errors in medical records may seem minor, they can have significant consequences in a workers’ comp case, including:

Denied Benefits

If an employee’s medical records do not accurately reflect the extent of their injury or treatment, they may be denied workers comp benefits. This can leave the employee unable to pay for necessary medical care or support themselves and their family.

Mischaracterization of the Injury

Errors in medical records can also lead to the mischaracterization of the injury. This can result in the employee receiving less than they are legal entitled to in benefits. 

Legal Disputes

Inaccurate medical records can also lead to legal disputes, as the employer or their insurance company may contest the validity of the records. This can result in lengthy and costly legal battles for the employee.

What to Do if There Are Errors in Your Medical Records

As you can see, the accuracy of medical records is crucial in workers’ comp cases, and errors can have significant consequences. If you suspect there are errors in your medical records, it’s important to act as soon as possible.

First, after discussing your work injury case with an experienced workers comp attorney, considering requesting a copy of your medical records from your healthcare provider. This will allow you to review the records and identify any errors or discrepancies. If you find errors, bring them to the attention of your healthcare provider and request that they be corrected. If the provider is unable or unwilling to correct the errors, you may need to seek legal assistance to have the records amended.

It’s also important to keep your own record of your medical history and treatment. This can include keeping copies of relevant documents, such as prescription labels or test results. This can be helpful in case there are errors in your official medical records and you need to provide evidence of the correct information.

Speak With a Missouri Workers Compensation Attorney

At the Law Office of James. M. Hoffman, we understand how overwhelming the workers’ comp process can be, especially when dealing with errors in your medical records. That’s why we’re here to help. Our experienced Missouri workers comp attorneys can assist you in ensuring the accuracy of your medical records and navigating the workers’ comp process to get the benefits you deserve.

Get FREE Legal Advice

Call today to speak with an experienced Missouri workers compensation attorney!

Call (816) 399-3706

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