Climate Change Project

Table of Contents



<< >> Up Title Contents

Medical Records in Litigation

The medical record is the basic legal document in medical malpractice litigation. A well-organized, well-written record is the best defense for the competent health care provider. A poorly-written, disorganized record is strong evidence of an incompetent health care provider. The poorly-kept record is not, in itself, proof of negligence on the part of the health care provider, but it is proof of substandard care.

Medical malpractice litigation is built around the medical record, which provides the only objective record of the patient's condition and the care provided. Records are particularly important for a physician's defense. It is the physician's responsibility to keep the medical record. The patient has injuries to show the court; the physician or other health care provider has only the medical records to prove that the injuries were not due to negligence. If the record is incomplete, illegible, or incompetently kept, this is the physician's failure. Although courts and juries usually give a physician the benefit of the doubt on ambiguous matters, this does not extend to ambiguities created by incompetent record keeping.

<< >> Up Title Contents

Law and the Physician Homepage
Copyright 1993 - NOT UPDATED

The Climate Change and Public Health Law Site
The Best on the WWW Since 1995!
Copyright as to non-public domain materials
See DR-KATE.COM for home hurricane and disaster preparation
See WWW.EPR-ART.COM for photography of southern Louisiana and Hurricane Katrina
Professor Edward P. Richards, III, JD, MPH - Webmaster

Provide Website Feedback - https://www.lsu.edu/feedback
Privacy Statement - https://www.lsu.edu/privacy
Accessibility Statement - https://www.lsu.edu/accessibility