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New York Personal Injury Attorneys

Why Do You Need a Medical Diagnosis to File a Mass Tort Claim?

June 8, 2021 in ,

If you suffer from an injury or illness as a result of using a manufactured product, and the injury or illness you’re suffering from is the same or similar to that of a large number of other claimants, then your personal injury case could be classified as a part of a “mass tort” claim. Even in a mass tort claim, it is imperative that you fully establish the scope of your harm, including a diagnosis of the injury or illness, a record of all medical care you have received, and the prognosis of future treatment. 

 

What is a Mass Tort? 

 

A mass tort occurs when a distinct group of people is injured, often within the same geographic region. In a mass tort, each plaintiff is treated as an individual, meaning that each plaintiff must prove their claim and establish how they were injured as a result of the actions of the defendant. 

 

This is the main differentiator between a mass tort suit and a class action suit. In a class action, the class as a whole must prove its case and the collective group is treated as a single plaintiff with a single legal representative. 

 

Examples of mass tort litigation include asbestos and mesothelioma exposure lawsuits, e-cigarette and vaping product manufacturer lawsuits, and Roundup weed killer lawsuits.

 

How does a Diagnosis Legitimize Your Claim? 

 

By providing a documented diagnosis, you become a legitimate plaintiff in a mass tort claim. When faced with a large wave of mass tort lawsuits, manufacturers and other defendants will try to weed out plaintiffs who do not have reliable documentation proving their condition(s), or whose conditions aren’t linked to the defendant. 

 

It is not enough to have merely used a product once or twice or worry that you may potentially get sick from exposure to a chemical. A mass tort case requires compensable harm, starting with a definitive medical diagnosis. A defense can argue that an unsubstantiated or undiagnosed injury or illness, or even an unreasonable delay in seeking medical treatment, proves that the injury or illness is not serious or that the alleged harm is not of their doing. 

 

Which Medical Records Matter?

 

During a mass tort, your medical records will provide vitally important information needed to build your case. Records not only provide proof of use, injury, and treatment, but can also identify pre-existing conditions that may limit or prevent recovery. 

 

Example Medical Records: 

  • Historical and physical: explains the reason for admission, provides preliminary differential diagnoses, may note pre-existing conditions, and defines the plan of treatment. 
  • Discharge summary: provides in depth summary of the entire hospital stay, explains any complications that occurred, and defines any lasting effects of the injury and any follow-up care. 
  • Labs: supports information documented in other records.
  • Consultations: performed by a specialist, defines injury in greater detail, may explain the cause of injury, explains necessary treatment and expected outcome. 
  • Additional documentation such as prescription and pharmacy records, therapy notes, and surgical records.

Consulting with a qualified medical professional will help to determine which records are most relevant to the mass tort litigation, as well as consulting with a skilled mass tort attorney who can evaluate your claim and ensure you have the proper documentation to legitimize your case. 

 

If You Wish to File a Mass Tort Claim, Contact SPBMCC Today

 

If you or someone you love may have a personal injury claim that can be filed as a part of a mass tort case, the attorneys at Sullivan Papain Block McGrath Coffinas & Cannavo P.C. can review your case and provide the legal counsel you need and deserve. 

 

Contact our New York office today and request a free consultation to review your case. 

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