Establishing Car Accident Injuries with Medical Records
When car accident injuries were caused by someone else’s negligence, it could lead to filing an auto accident claim to recover the costs of medical treatment and other losses. Not only is it important to establish the other party’s liability when pursuing a claim, but there must be proof of the physical and/or emotional harm suffered. An Atlanta car accident attorney can help collect necessary car accident evidence, which may include medical records.
Seeking Medical Attention for Car Accident Injuries
The start of collecting medical evidence happens when the injured person seeks care, whether it’s through emergency services or a trip to the doctor. Sometimes medical attention is received right at the scene of the accident.
If the injuries weren’t severe enough to warrant care at the scene or an emergency department, it is critical that an appointment is made with a doctor as soon as possible, after the accident. It could be damaging to an auto accident claim if the person waits too long to see a physician.
Further, following the doctor’s instructions is very important, too. If the doctor recommends physical therapy, counseling or some other type of rehabilitation, the patient should comply. Ending treatment too early or not following through on care can be extremely damaging to a case, not to mention health and well-being.
All medical records, notations and documents that are relevant to the medical care and treatment being received should be collected, and victims may share this information with their Atlanta car accident injury attorney. Whether it’s originals or copies, from the very start this evidence should be compiled and organized to use in the claim to establish damages.
Types of Medical Records That Could Be Used as Evidence of Car Accident Injuries
The following are examples of medical records that can be used in an auto accident claim to establish the type and severity of injuries sustained in an accident:
- results from X-rays, MRIs, CT scans, laboratory tests;
- bills and statements from physician, hospital, ambulatory services;
- patient’s medical chart;
- notes written by physician or nurse;
- prescription medications prescribed;
- copies of discharge records; and
- photographs of visible injuries (lacerations, bruises, swelling, redness) and medical equipment/treatment necessary – cast, crutches, stitches, wheelchair, bandages, etc.).
Any type of paperwork or document that is created during the course of receiving medical care and treatment can potentially be used as evidence in an auto accident claim. Keep everything together so that it can be easily retrieved and referenced when negotiating the settlement. If you require assistance obtaining this or other evidence, an Atlanta car accident attorney can provide legal support and assistance.
Documenting Car Accident Injuries & Their Impact
Along with collecting evidence, an Atlanta car accident attorney may discuss documenting the injuries. Journaling pain levels, medication that has been taken, time from work that has been missed, doctor appointments, treatment received, and impact of the injuries on daily living (taking care of oneself, ability to enjoy normal activities) can be extremely helpful in establishing the physical and/or emotional harm sustained.
It’s just as important to make sure the doctor and any other healthcare provider involved in medical care and treatment is accurately documenting the injuries. This means avoiding vague descriptions and explaining in detail what happened.
For instance, if the victim struck his or her head against an object (such as the steering wheel or window) when the accident occurred, this should be noted. If the airbags deployed and there were burn injuries from that, this should be mentioned. It’s important to be as detailed as possible about the car accident injuries, so that there is no guess-work as to how the injuries occurred Remember, the defendant will try to use everything and anything against the accident victim and the more holes there are in the evidence, the more risk there is with an auto accident claim.
Hiring an Atlanta Car Accident Attorney to Protect an Auto Accident Claim
Sometimes medical care and treatment takes several weeks or months. No matter the length of time, an auto accident claim can be protected by making sure all records are maintained. An Atlanta car accident attorney can help ensure this is the case. An attorney can assist with filing a claim and negotiating a fair settlement if the negligence of another motorist was the cause of car accident injuries.