So far in this blog series on Developing and Funding a Plaintiff’s Practice we’ve discussed marketing your practice, through building relationships and advertising and developing systems for document gathering. We continue our series with the importance of gathering damages reports for file development and progression.
It goes without saying that you will want to obtain as many records as you can about your client’s pre and post injury health and employment before the discovery. In this way, you will have a clearer picture of your client’s case and you will be well positioned to educate your client about issues raised in their pre-injury health records.
Obtaining records from non-parties can take time, so it is important to start this process early. You do not want to be in a position where key documents about your client’s health are not available before discovery.
A good defence lawyer will often try to inject the Plaintiff’s credibility into the equation by seizing upon small inconsistencies or omissions in reports of pre-accident health history and extrapolating to the conclusion that the Plaintiff was trying to conceal past problems or blame the car crash for a pre-existing condition. It is for this reason that a comprehensive review of the OHIP summary and family doctors clinical notes and records must be completely reviewed for any pre-accident problems that may have some bearing on the case. This includes reviewing, to the extent that they are legible, the family doctors hand written notes.
Loss of income information in the file should be obtained and reviewed, including the resume the Plaintiff has completed for the purposes of the litigation, the pre-accident income tax returns, school records and current and previous employment files. Special consideration should be given whenever requesting school records. Continue reading