Maryland's legislators have slowly found ways to allow injured persons and insurance companies to put into evidence at trial, medical records and bills, without the presence of a medical expert in court. This has a number of beneficial effects including saving all sides a substantial amount of money.
Doctors prefer this too, as court appearances and videotaped depositions eat into their time seeing patients. Jurors often tell me that they wish they could see the injured parties' medical records so they could refer back to them when deliberating about such issues as the causal relationship between an accident and a particular symptom or treatment.
This would be great but the rule was really created for use in Maryland District Court where judges make the decisions and the damage award limit is $30,000.00. Periodically, insurance companies request jury trials on behalf of their insureds and jurors are permitted to utilize 10-104 to evaluate cases.
These are however rare moments and the inevitable question is why can't this time and money saving provision be used in larger cases?
One supposes that the progenitors of this section of the Maryland Code had in mind solely the use of it in District Court cases where jury trials do not take place but predictably, jurors have ultimately been called upon to make use of it. So why not make use of it in Circuit Court in cases up to say, $100,000.00?
There is no body of outlandish verdicts by jurors in those few cases where it has been available and under the provision each side is given ample opportunity to submit their own expert opinion and supporting medical records.