Proper use of Maryland Article 10-104
The Maryland Appellate Court recently further clarified an important point regarding the admission of medical records into evidence without a sponsoring expert. In the “old” days, in order to submit medical record testimony into evidence, the plaintiff was required to bring a medical expert into court in order to discuss the medical treatment, in order to causally relate the treatment to a particular injury accident or happening. Subsequently, the Maryland Courts and Judicial Proceedings statute “10-104” was adopted which allowed medical records to come into evidence without live sponsoring medical testimony in certain cases, but the trick is that there still must be language in the medical records that clearly causally relates the medical treatment to the predicate accident. In the absence of said language in the records, there is no causal connection and the defense or a judge can move to exclude the records from evidence as not being relevant because of the lack of nexus to the case at hand. That is what happened in the following case. Plaintiffs must be aware of their continuing obligation in terms of getting medical testimony into evidence either by live witness or by documents under Maryland Courts Article 10-104.
Maryland Pedestrian struck by Car
In the following case, a pedestrian was hit by a motor vehicle requiring ongoing medical attention. The case proceeded to court as the insurance company failed to make proper remuneration as they often do. Unfortunately, because the evidence was not offered correctly by the plaintiff, the medical evidence was excluded and the plaintiff was unable to recover. A harsh but correct result under the law.
On May 9, 2017, the Court of Special Appeals of Maryland rendered a ruling on a car accident case involving a plaintiff struck by a car. The plaintiff filed a law suit against the driver and the owner of the car, two different people. Since the driver was uninsured, the Maryland Automobile Insurance Fund/Uninsured Division was involved in the case.
The plaintiff submitted medical records and bills into evidence pursuant to Maryland Statute 10-104 as discussed above, thereby requiring causation testimony/evidence by the records alone and not by live expert.
The Maryland Court of Special Appeals Ruling
As indicated above, causation “testimony” or language must appear in the records in order to be properly allowed into evidence. The Appeals court was called upon to consider the issue of whether the trial court erred when the lower court said the Plaintiff failed to satisfy her burden of proof on the issue of causation. The Appeals court found that although the plaintiff’s medical records noted that she was indeed struck by the car, none of the records properly related the plaintiff’s medical treatment to the injuries sustained in the accident. Instead, the court noted that because the injuries seemed to move from one part of the body to another part of the body during her period of recovery, the issue became even more convoluted and in the absence of causal statement linking the treatment to the accident, the lower court was correct in not finding a nexus. The Appeals court affirmed the lower court’s refusal to accept the medical documents to substantiate damages in the absence of qualified evidence on the issue of lost wages and medical testimony.
If you were injured in an accident and are desiring proper recourse, the Maryland accident lawyers at Bruce Robinson & Associates can help you recover fair and appropriate compensation. Our injury attorneys represent plaintiffs in a wide range of negligence cases, including auto and motorcycle accidents, medical malpractice and premises liability claims. To learn more, call today to schedule an appointment by callingor submitting our online contact form on the website.