Building a Medical Record for Your Injury Case
During the personal injury claims process, the total end value of a claim will depend largely on a victim's injuries and the specific damages that were suffered as a result. However, in order to maximize the value of a settlement, claimants must be able to provide evidence which details the exact nature of their injuries. Building and maintaining an accurate medical record can be among the best things a victim can do to support their claim.
Five tips for building a medical record include:
- Create and maintain a filing system: Organization is key to the success of any legal endeavor. As soon as you can, create a master file where you can keep all medical documentation and evidence relating to your injury. This can include doctor’s reports, prescriptions for medication, the dates of important events, and updates to your condition. Understanding exactly what information you have and where it is can also reduce delays in your case.
- Visit the doctor as soon as possible: Seeking immediate medical treatment can have several major benefits. First, victims are not always aware of the full extent of an injury, getting an early diagnosis can work to protect your health. Secondly, medical records can be powerful evidence and an early visit to the doctor can give you the longest documented timeline possible. Failure to seek medical treatment can be used as evidence by the opposing side to argue that your injuries are not as severe as you reported them to be.
- Keep your doctor aware of changes: The medical record you create can only be as effective as what it includes. Make sure you inform your doctor of any symptoms you experience and ensure that they are documented. As soon as you become aware of a change to your condition, inform your doctor. When seeking compensation, inconsistencies in the date an injury appeared and the date it was documented can detract from the value of a claim.
- Go to each appointment: Do not miss an appointment with the doctor, no matter how small of an issue is to be addressed. While it may not seem like a big deal, the opposing counsel or insurance company may point to a missed appointment and argue that you share responsibility for the progression of your symptoms. Additionally, the more medical information you have to backup your claim, the better.
- Work with an attorney: The personal injury claims process can be extraordinarily complex. An attorney knowledgeable in personal injury claims can help you to avoid many of the common pitfalls which can hurt your claim. If you have questions on what medical information may be relevant or how to best handle requests from an insurance company, it may be time to get a legal advocate in your corner.
After an accident, expenses from medical bills and missed work can put victims under tremendous financial strain. While accepting a settlement early can alleviate some of the initial monetary burdens, in the long run, it can leave you to pay uncovered medical costs out of your own pocket. You will have only one chance to collect a settlement. Building a complete and accurate medical history can work to maximize the strength of your claim and help to see that all of your damages are covered.
Seeking Restitution for an Injury? Call (833) 600-0125
At Johnson, Vorhees & Martucci, we have more than 140 years of collective experience representing the injured in their fight for justice. Our Four States personal injury attorneys understand the emotional, legal, and physical strife which accompanies an accident and we can work with you personally to develop a strategy tailored to your goals. Let our legal team go to bat for you so that you may focus on what is most important, recovering your health.
Schedule a free case evaluation with our firm and discover the best path forward.
We are proud to represent clients throughout Joplin and Springfield.