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Documenting Your Injuries

The Law Offices of Jonathan M. Brand Feb. 21, 2018

How Documentation Helps Your Case

Documenting your injuries can, in the long run, increase the value of your case. Treatment for even the most minor injury can generate an intimidating amount of paperwork. Insurance questionnaires, medical bills, explanation of benefit letters and various other administrative documents are generated upon any hospital visit. To make things easier, create a file and save a copy of all these documents. Keeping an ongoing record of your treatment serves two purposes. First, it creates a narrative of your injury and subsequent treatment. Second, it tracks any expenditures associated with your medical treatment. Since medical expenses are reimbursable as economic damages, keeping accurate treatment records and billing records will allow you to claim every dime you are owed. There is no substitute for good documentation. Memory alone cannot do it.

Keep A Daily Record

A personal injury claims diary is a great way to record your pain levels, what kind of medicine you took, medical appointments, physical limitations and your ability to perform daily activities are all significant details. Keeping a diary also allows you to document any mental issues you may be having. Treating physicians and injured parties alike often ignore stress, sleepless nights, confusion and other outward manifestations of mental trauma. If you focus on keeping a record of your overall condition, these seemingly innocuous manifestations of mental trauma could lead to an actual medical diagnosis, which will bolster any claim for damages you make, including one for pain and suffering stemming from your injuries

With thorough and accurate medical records, documentation and a personal injury claim diary, a person will have made the foundation for a sound presentation of their pain and suffering. These records assess and document the nature and extent of your injuries; your treatment for those injuries; your progress and recovery; your complaints of pain, discomfort and limitations; any ongoing or permanent health problems; and the effect that the injuries have had on your life. This documentation will help your attorney prove how serious, severe and/or debilitating the injuries have been for you.

Seek Medical Attention Immediately

Although the aftermath of a serious accident can be disorienting, it is extremely important to take steps to document your injuries to help win your case. Another important factor in documentation is to obtain official documentation of your physical condition immediately after you are injured. Your condition immediately post-injury will serve as a baseline for your condition as your case proceeds. Without immediately obtaining medical attention, you will have no concrete way of proving your condition contemporaneously with the accident. Depending on the type of accident and your ability to take photographs at the time of an accident can be one of the best ways to document evidence. Take pictures of your own injuries, the damage to the vehicles (if it is a car accident), including the surroundings where the accident took place.

Documentation Is Essential To Success

It is important to provide your attorney with all relevant documentation throughout your case, and it is essential to update your lawyer each time you visit the doctor or receive any information from your insurance company. Documenting your medical condition is an essential part of any successful personal injury claim. Whether you are negotiating a settlement with an insurance adjuster or presenting a lawsuit to a jury, the more facts you have supporting your position, the higher the likelihood of a satisfactory outcome. Plan to share everything you have with your attorney, who can go through these materials to determine which documents will be the most helpful in winning your case. Following the few simple steps described in this article can help ensure that your injuries are properly documented, and you receive the compensation you deserve.