After being injured in an automobile accident, there are many doctors and medical facilities with whom you will treat with, including some of the following: ambulances, hospitals, emergency rooms, radiologists, chiropractors, primary care physicians, neurologists and/or orthopaedists. Creating a medical journal will help keep you and your appointments organized, and the journal can also become a valuable resource to both yourself and your attorney.
Some valuable pointers in creating and maintaining a medical journal are as follows: keep accurate records of the date of your treatment, the name of your treating doctor and the practice that he or she is a part of. Sometimes you may treat with doctors who are part of more than one medical entity, such as an emergency room physician. They are both part of the hospital in which they treat patients at, (within say the Emergency Room) as well as treating patients at their own personal medical practice, outside of the hospital. Sometimes you may treat with more than one doctor within the same practice too.
Chart each date that you see the doctor. Even if you have an appointment that is canceled or rescheduled, it is very important that you write down each date so that your attorney can see where and when you treated.
Aside from the doctor’s name, practice name, and dates of treatment, make sure to record your pain level and complaints at both the beginning and end of the appointment. This is valuable information- it helps your attorney, and doctor, see if you are improving, or digressing, in terms of levels of pain.
Any prescriptions that your doctor prescribes should be included in your journal. Be sure to include the type of medication, the doctor who prescribed it, the dosage and dates you consume it. If the medication helps you, mark that down. If the medication does not help you or if you feel any side effects, be sure to include that information in your journal as well (aside from immediately notifying your doctor).
Another valuable piece of information to your case is what you can and cannot do after the accident. For instance, a lot of injured people cannot do the same daily activities as well as (or not at all anymore) they used to before the date of the accident. Some of these activities include cooking, cleaning, driving lifting children, taking care of your pets, sleeping, working, climbing stairs, sexual activities, etc. These are activities that affect your daily life as well as those whom you take care of. Keeping a list of these daily activities will benefit your attorney and your case in that your attorney can use this information to help increase the compensation you receive when working out a settlement figure with the insurance companies or defense counsel.
Your medical journal is also a great place to keep your co-pay receipts, if applicable. Mark down any out-of-pocket expenses that you incur so that when your settlement is reached, your attorney will have an accurate record so that you can be reimbursed.
Keeping your journal up to date on your treatment will be an extremely valuable resource to your attorney, your doctor, and to yourself. Not only will it help you and your attorney within your automobile or injury case, but you can also use it as a reference for treatment dates, ailments and improvements in years to come.