Understanding Medical Records After a Car Accident | Kisling, Nestico & Redick
Kisling, Nestico & Redick, LLC Hurt in a Car? Call KNR.
Medical documents are essential evidence in proving car accident injuries and what another driver’s negligence has cost you.
Written by
KNR Legal
Date posted
March 27, 2024

Doctor and hospital bills add up quickly after auto crashes. But it’s crucial to keep careful medical records. These documents will be helpful for your overall recovery and ability to get compensation.

The car accident lawyers at Kisling, Nestico & Redick, LLC can help you understand the Ohio claim process and how your medical documentation helps build your case.

Seek Immediate Medical Attention

The first thing you should do after an auto accident is to seek medical attention. This is, of course, for your welfare. And it also shows that you were injured. These initial medical records will be the baseline for your injury claim.

See a doctor even if you do not feel hurt in the collision or have obvious injuries. Internal injuries, head injuries, and other trauma are not always immediately recognizable. With this initial visit, begin building a file with your medical records and doctor bills.

Follow Up on Treatment

Keep all appointments for follow-up checkups, tests, and other treatments your medical provider orders.

Your ongoing medical records will highlight the trajectory of your recovery. They will show the full impact that the car accident and your injuries are having on you. A slow recovery will cost you more in medical bills, lost income, and emotional distress.

Document Your Recovery

Every stage of your convalescence and recovery should be well documented. In addition to keeping all your medical forms and bills together, your lawyer may suggest keeping a detailed pain and symptom journal.

H3: What to Include in Your Pain Journal

This should be a place to describe your pain and symptoms throughout the day. Make notes of the intensity of your pain with dates and times. Also document whether:

  • Pain interferes with sleeping
  • Pain prevents you from performing basic daily activities
  • Medication for pain and symptoms is working
  • How your pain impacts your mood and emotions

The more detail you provide about how your injuries negatively affect your life, the better for substantiating your claim. However, only keep a journal in relation to your injuries unless you are specifically advised to do so by your attorney.  Otherwise, these journals are discoverable and must be turned over to the other side.

Common Types of Medical Documentation

Medical documentation following a car accident typically covers a range of topics. Comprehensive documentation will help ensure a thorough and accurate record of the accident and its health consequences. The documents you will need for your accident case include:

  • Documents showing the type, severity, and location of injuries.
  • Records showing emergency care, treatments, surgeries, therapy, and medications.
  • Results of diagnostic tests include CT scans, MRIs, X-rays, and other tests.
  • Physician notes assess your response to treatments, prognosis, and treatment plan.
  • Summaries of your hospital stay and discharge.
  • Physical therapy and rehabilitation reports, including assessments of your progress.
  • Details of recommended follow-up care and lifestyle changes.

All these records and your diary highlight various phases in your treatment and recovery.

Work With Your Doctors

Feel free to ask your doctor questions about your long-term prognosis. This will help you understand what your car crash injuries may cost you physically, emotionally, and financially in the future.

If you had a preexisting condition that could have made your car accident injuries more severe, inform your attorney. Insurers or attorneys for the at-fault party may try to use that against you to avoid paying your damages. You may need copies of the pre-existing medical records for your claim.

Your doctor can help in determining how the crash made the scope of your injuries that much worse. You may still receive compensation for worsening your preexisting condition and any new and unrelated injuries.

Know the Long-Term Impact of Your Injuries

Your medical records show how fast or slow you are progressing in addition to your future prognosis. Some injuries may never heal completely. You may need surgeries or other care in the future as problems caused by your injuries continue to arise.

Your current medical records can help project your long-term needs and your forecasted costs for future medical care. Your attorney will use your medical documentation and your doctor’s estimates of ongoing treatment you will need to determine the value of your continuing care and treatment.

Psychological Effects & Mental Health Records

Injuries from a car accident are not only physical. You should also keep records of mental health assessments and treatments you may have received. Did you see a therapist, psychologist, or psychiatrist for issues such as anxiety, depression, post-traumatic stress disorder, or other mental and emotional problems following the accident?

These mental health documents will support your claim in seeking damages for emotional pain, suffering, and distress.

How Medical Documentation Strengthens Your Claim

Keeping track of documents can feel like a lot of work while recuperating after a car accident. But the more detailed, accurate, and comprehensive your records are, the stronger your compensation claim.

For example, a CT scan right after an accident can show that you suffered a fractured bone in a car accident. Whether the fracture required surgery at the time or not, ongoing X-rays can show whether the bone healed correctly. Your doctor’s prognosis notes may indicate that you will require additional surgery to correct the problem if it does not. Without these records and documents, you may not get payment for future surgery.

This is just one example. But you can see how proper medical documentation can bolster your claim for the full amount you need.

Communicating with Insurance

In addition to your medical documents, keep records of all your communications with the insurance companies involved in your accident. If you spoke with an insurance representative on the phone, write down the date, time, their name, and what was discussed. Do it right away while it is fresh in your mind.

Better yet, if you have an attorney, let them communicate with insurance. Insurers may try and twist your words to avoid payment. Your attorney can prepare your claim and documents to submit to insurers.

Contact KNR If You’ve Been Injured in A Crash

Our compassionate Ohio car accident lawyers understand the physical and emotional pain and distress crashes cause. When a negligent driver or other party has injured you, you have the right to pursue damages. KNR can help you develop your claim and gather medical documentation to prove your injuries.

Do not hesitate to reach out for help. Call KNR today at 1-800-HURT-NOW or contact us online for a free, no-risk consultation.