Legal Memorandum: Admissibility of Medical Records

Issue: Can or must medical records be introduced at trial to prove the extent of a plaintiff’s injuries and/or his medical expenses in an accident case?

Area of Law: Personal Injury & Negligence
Keywords: Medical records; Admissible evidence
Jurisdiction: Minnesota
Cited Cases: 89 N.W.2d 629
Cited Statutes: None
Date: 11/01/2012

If properly authenticated, medical records are certainly admissible at trial.  However, nothing requires the admission of medical records as evidence.  Rather, medical records can and should be introduced when necessary to meet the plaintiff’s burden of proof on damages and support the live testimony of the expert witness.  Where the expert witness drafted the records, it is common to enter the records into evidence in conjunction with the expert’s testimony to provide the jury concrete evidence of the injuries sustained by the plaintiff.  See, e.g., Derrick v. St. Paul C.R. Co., 89 N.W.2d 629, 633-34 (Minn. 1958).  Likewise, if past medical expenses are sought, records of those expenditures must be introduced, unless stipulated to by the defendant.


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