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Medical Evidence Issues in Personal Injury Trials: Medical Records, Expert Testimony, Out of Court Materials

Admitting Evidence in Medical Records to Prove or Challenge Causation and Damages

Recording of a 90-minute CLE video webinar with Q&A

This program is included with the Strafford CLE Pass. Click for more information.
This program is included with the Strafford All-Access Pass. Click for more information.

Conducted on Wednesday, May 10, 2023

Recorded event now available

or call 1-800-926-7926

This CLE webinar will discuss the range of evidentiary issues that must be surmounted to admit in a personal injury trial medical records and the evidence in medical records to prove or challenge causation and damages. The panelist will cover admissibility of medical documents and data, acceptable bases of medical expert testimony, and hearsay issues related to materials relied on by experts.


Medical records for use in a personal injury trial, for example hospital records, treating physician records, medical bills, IME physicians reports, medical test results, and reports interpreting images, may be deemed inadmissible hearsay, but with the proper foundation fall under the "business records" exception in Federal Rule 803(6).

Because of the nature of medical records, hearsay evidence may find its way into depositions or trial. The information, opinions, diagnoses, and other statements in the records are often provided by numerous sources and may constitute hearsay within hearsay. Each item requires its own separate hearsay exception, but there are no bright lines. Both sides will want to get favorable evidence in and keep damaging evidence out.

Medical expert testimony presents special challenges and routinely relies on out of court material, such as X-rays or tests as well as learned treatises and other material. The evidentiary requirements to admit extraneous materials must be satisfied to introduce those matters in most courts. If such materials are deemed admissible evidence and given to the jury simply because an expert says they were relied on, expert testimony could be the gateway to hearsay.

Listen as Ben Locklar, Principal at Beasley Allen, discusses common issues with medical evidence at trial.



  1. Applying the business records exception under FRE 803(6)
    1. Hospital records
    2. Billing
    3. Treating physician records
    4. Consultations
    5. Medical tests, test results, imaging, etc.
    6. Exams and reports prepared for litigation
    7. Statements from companions
  2. Admitting or challenging hearsay within admissible records
    1. How accidents occurred
    2. Causation and preexisting conditions
    3. Proper application of FRE 803(4)
  3. Expert testimony as a channel for hearsay
  4. Expert testimony and the problem of out of court materials
    1. Practice guidelines
    2. Authoritative texts, journals, books, studies


The panelist will discuss these and other key issues:

  • What kind of foundation is required for medical records under FRE 803(6)?
  • What is the difference between authentication and admissibility?
  • When can the exception under FRE 803(4) be applicable?
  • Are out of court materials relied upon by experts admissible or may they only be referred to?


Locklar, Ben
Ben Locklar

Beasley Allen

Mr. Locklar practices as a member of Beasley Allen Law Firm’s Personal Injury and Products Liability Section.

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