Medical Evidence

Definition - What does Medical Evidence mean?

Medical evidence broadly refers to any testimony given by a physician in court. It is most often used as evidence by a person seeking Social Security Disability benefits to show their impairments. It is also frequently used in medical malpractice cases when it's relevant to challenges regarding a patient's quality of care.

Justipedia explains Medical Evidence

Medical evidence is the cornerstone of determining a person's disability. Every individual who files a claim for disability is responsible for providing medical evidence that shows impairments and the severity of those impairments. Generally, the Social Security Administration will help the individual obtain medical evidence from the proper medical sources.

Documentation of medical evidence must come from medical professionals that Social Security Administration regulations deem "acceptable medical sources." Once the existence of impairment is established, the Social Security Administration then looks to all medical and non-medical evidence to consider and assess the severity of those impairments.

In medical malpractice cases in particular, medical evidence can be a difficult factor for the courts thanks to the increasing number of medical organizations, recommendations, studies and medical diagnostic tools. While more evidence can sometimes make it easier for the courts to reach accurate determinations on some cases, conflicting studies and clinical practice guidelines can also serve to confuse the case even more.

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