Advise clients to seek medical attention immediately and ask for copies of all paperwork
After a serious accident – or even a minor one – your clients may be confused as to the first step to take. But even if the accident seems insignificant, it’s essential to seek medical care immediately. There are many cases of patients experiencing symptoms such as headaches, fatigue, pain and other problems that only begin to occur days, weeks, or even months after an accident has happened, often from unseen injuries.
Without getting medical attention as quickly as possible, it can be very difficult to prove later on that a condition changed for the worse after an accident. Whether your client gets better or worse in subsequent weeks, a post-accident checkup acts as a baseline report of a condition, helping to verify a patient and doctor’s claims about any injuries, symptoms, and overall health – making it potentially much easier to win damages to pay for medical bills and lost work time, if necessary.
Obtain a copy of all records from the initial medical treatment
Your clients should attempt to get copies of medical records and documentation for every doctor’s appointment that they have after an accident, and it’s especially important for them to obtain all records from the initial treatment. In addition to records, they should ask for all diagnoses, reports, and additional information, such as CAT scans, MRIs, X-rays, EKGs, and other information.
Start by making a dedicated accident medical report file – and back things up
Even if your clients meticulously document every appointment at all stages of their medical treatment, it won’t help them with their case if they lose track of the paperwork. Therefore, it’s a good idea for clients to keep all paperwork and records in one location, and ideally make both physical copies and digital copies (scans) for backup. That way, no matter what happens to your clients’ paperwork, they can proceed effectively with the case.
Without proper documentation, it can be difficult or impossible to win a case or reach a fair settlement
As most attorneys know, it’s not what happens that necessarily counts, it’s what can be proven in a court of law. No matter how serious your client’s problems and injuries are, if their condition and medical status isn’t well-documented at every stage of the treatment process (and conclusively shown to be related to the accident in question) it can be extremely challenging to convince a judge or jury of the need to compensate your client for damages.
So, when it comes to medical paperwork, records, and other documentation, it’s always best to keep too much vs. too little. A specific scan, test, or report could mean the difference in winning an award or reaching a settlement than can help an individual get back on their feet and effectively continue with their lives.
Convincing your client of the importance of documenting every stage of their medical treatment may be a challenge, but finding the right care for your client shouldn’t be – just tell them to contact Pines Spine and Joint to schedule an appointment with our highly-experienced team of doctors, chiropractors, and therapists. Call us at 954.430.8000 or simply fill out our online contact form.