Personal Injury Case Strength Evaluation: A Medical Doctor’s 4 C’s Method

If you have been injured by the carelessness or negligence of someone, personal injury accident case valuation is important to know the strength of your case.  Here is a method of evaluation by a medical doctor who evaluates such cases.

He uses what he calls the “4  C’s” method.  He asks if all four of these are present.  If they are then the injured person has a strong injury case.  If they are not present the injury case has a problem.  As I explain, at the end of this article,  all is not lost if one or more of these four factors are missing.

The “4 C’s are as follows:
1. Causation.
2. Complaints.
3. Corroboration.
4. Confirmation

1. Causation?  This asks the question as to whether or not the facts of the accident and the initial treatment records tend to show that the injuries could have been caused by this particular accident.  In an auto accident the expert MD looks at the Traffic Collision Report to see if the injuries are the types that a person might be expected to receive in a motor vehicle collision.  Then he looks at the medical records from the first doctor the injured person saw.  He again looks to see if the injuries recorded are the type that a person could reasonably have received in such an accident.
2. Complaints?  Here the question is whether or not the symptoms the person is complaining of areconsistent all the way through the treatment.  This means that they are consistent with what the person complained about to the first doctor just after the accident.  Then, are those complaints the same on all of the injured persons office visits and examinations by the treating doctor.

3. Corroboration?  What is looked at here are what each examining doctor recorded in the records of each of the physical exams performed on the patient.  A physician is trained to perform tests and recordobservations of the patient during physical examinations of the patient.  Are the results of those tests and observations consistent with the facts of the accident?  Are they consistent with the type of injury which might be expected, the course of recovery and other factors a physician usually sees in such cases?
4. Confirmation?  Do the X-RaysMRI’s or other medical tests confirm the complaints and  exam findings?
In this particular medical doctor’s opinion, if the above four are satisfied the injured person has a very strong case.  In my opinion, that does not mean that if some of those four things do not exist the case is lost.

There are often people who are injured for whom one or more of the above four do not exist.  For example I often represent people who have pain from an accident but have negative X-Rays or MRI studies.

Even if one or more of the “4 C’s” are missing, what is present is the injured person’s own testimonythat they were hurt and are experiencing pain.  If they are an otherwise credible person they may still be able to  overcome the lack of one or more of the above four factors.  If they have friends or neighborswho will testify that they knew the person before the accident and he or she did not have pain but believe from watching him or her that they have it now, that will also go  far to help the injured person prevail in his or her injury case.

If you have an accident injury case you should discuss it for free with attorney John P. Burns at  949-496-7000 or toll free at 877-320-1338. You can also e mail me at

Even if you are missing some of the “4 C’s” I can still make sure you receive full payment of what the insurance company of the person who caused the accident owes you. It’s what I do every day for injured people.

John P. Burns
Attorney at Law
Southern California vehicle accident, South Orange County injury attorney, San Juan Capistrano California injury cases,
Southern California injury lawyer

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