Can You Use A Recording Of A Doctor To Prove Medical Malpractice?

In this digital age, it's easy to record a doctor and use the information later to support your claim of medical malpractice. For example, if you are being treated after an injury occasioned by another physician's negligence, you can record the second doctor's conversations describing the first doctor's treatment. You can, but it doesn't necessarily mean that the court will accept the recording as evidence of malpractice. Here are the major factors that determine whether the court accepts such a recording:

The Legality of the Recording

The first thing is to determine whether it is illegal to record the doctor in the first place. Since state laws govern these issues, the legality of the recording depends on your jurisdiction. A few states consider it legal only if you gain the consent of the doctor while others do not require their consent. If your state's laws require the consent of both parties, then you have to request the doctor for his or her permission. Note that some doctors will not consent, with one of the reasons for refusal being that the recordings can be abused and misused.

The Admissibility of the Recording as Evidence

An illegal recording cannot be admissible evidence, but this doesn't mean that a legal recording is automatically admissible. The court has to consider several things while deciding whether to allow the use of the recording as testimony. Some of the considerations include these three:

  • Admission of fault – If you have recorded the same doctor whose negligence led to your injury, then the court may admit it if the recording captures the doctor admitting guilt. This means the judge will listen to it before making a decision.
  • Authentication of the recording – Only an authentic recording can be admitted as evidence. Therefore, you may need a digital expert to confirm its authenticity to the court. The judge may toss it out if it turns out you have altered or edited the recording.
  • The length of the recording – Your recording probably won't be admissible if it just contains a few words or phrases. A snippet of your conversation with the doctor won't suffice because it can easily be taken out of context. Ideally, the recording should be of the whole conversation/consultation to avoid any confusion.

If you haven't made a recording yet, research your state's laws first, and only go ahead with the plan in a legal manner. If you already have a recording, consult an attorney to help you determine how to prove your medical malpractice claim.

Speak to professionals like The Gil Law Firm for more help.