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Our attorneys have been assisting the Orange County and Southern California communities for over 40 years.
If you or somebody you care about sustains an injury caused by the negligent actions of another individual, business, or entity in the Orange County area, you may be able to recover compensation for your losses. However, documenting your injuries for your personal injury claim is absolutely essential.
Here, we want to discuss what we mean by documenting your injuries. This includes analyzing some steps personal injury victims should take right after an injury occurs, as well as the process of documenting the medical treatment and how the recovery process moves forward.
Documenting initial injuries soon after an incident occurs is important. However, we understand that obtaining any information about injuries right after they occur can be challenging. If possible, we recommend that an injury victim or someone else around them use a cell phone or another type of camera to take pictures of the injuries and any causes of the injuries. The old phrase “a picture is worth a thousand words” is appropriate in these situations. If a case ends up in front of an insurance carrier or a personal injury jury and there are photos taken soon after the incident occurs, this makes the claim harder to deny.
It is crucial for any injury victim to obtain medical treatment as soon as possible. Seeking emergency medical care is more important than taking photographs or video footage of the injuries and the incident. The number one priority is the well-being of any injury victim.
Medical records are going to be the foundation of any personal injury claim. Medical documentation from an approved and accredited medical provider will help establish the existence of the injury along with the severity, type, and possible cause of the injury. These medical records can include information from the initial emergency room visit as well as all follow-up visits, any scans or lab work needed, X-rays, MRIs, CT scans, and more.
Medical professionals will often recommend the follow-up care that they think is appropriate for individuals who have been harmed. This can include any necessary surgeries, chiropractic care, physical therapy or rehabilitation, the use of medical devices, as well as any necessary medications they think the patient should take.
When an injury victim continues medical treatment recommended by a doctor, this not only helps establish the severity of the injury but also helps insurance carriers or a personal injury jury understand what an appropriate settlement or judgment amount should look like based on the total losses the patient and yours.
Not all documentation after an injury has to be medical records. We always recommend that individuals keep a written or photo journal (or both) that begins soon after the injury occurs and continues throughout the recovery process. This journal can include information about how the injury has affected a person’s day-to-day life as well as the pain and suffering (both physical and emotional) the individual has had to endure as a result of the injury and the recovery process.