Personal injuries sustained as a result of someone else’s negligence can have a very serious impact on a person’s finances and quality of life for many years to come.
An experienced New Port Richey personal injury lawyer will have the necessary legal knowledge and expertise to negotiate with the insurance company on your behalf and help you obtain monetary recovery for your injuries and damages. However, there are some steps you can take on your own to streamline the litigation process and help your case proceed more smoothly.
Keep a Medical Treatment Diary or Journal
During the time when you are receiving treatment for your injuries, it may be a good idea to keep a medical diary, journal, or timeline of your treatment activities. A medical treatment diary should include the following:
- Dates of treatment and physical therapy
- Pain and symptoms for each doctor visit and following each procedure
- Names of all health care providers and treating doctors
- Medical procedures that were performed while treating, including injections and surgeries
- Any gaps in treatment
- Any missed appointments or late arrivals to appointments, as well as the reasons for those missed appointments or late arrivals
Keep Copies of All Medical Records and Bills
In addition to keeping a medical journal, it is also a good idea to save and organize all medical and physical therapy treatment records and bills, in case a dispute arises later on down the road. It is also important to save medical records so that you can review the contents of those records prior to testifying at a deposition or at trial.
Take Good Notes
When you meet with a New Port Richey personal injury attorney, it is important that you take good notes, write down questions to ask your attorney and review all of your discovery responses prior to testifying at a deposition or trial.
Prior to any deposition or trial, you should be clear on how you are to answer direct examination and potential cross-examination questions. You should never be afraid to ask your attorney questions. Your attorney is there to help you present the kind of testimony that will be necessary for you to prevail in your case and potentially maximize your damages and monetary recovery in your case.
Reasons for Keeping Careful Records Following a Personal Injury
It is extremely important to keep careful medical records following a personal injury in order to prevent against fading memories and lost knowledge.
Many people believe that the majority of personal injury cases resolve quickly via settlement or trial. The truth, however, is that personal injury cases – and particularly those involving medical negligence or medical malpractice – can drag on for many years. A medical diary, journal, or timeline acts as a good refresher course regarding the names of health care providers, the dates of treatment, as well as the pain and symptom levels experienced at various intervals throughout treatment. The information contained in a medical diary or journal can be an invaluable source when preparing for a deposition, arbitration, or trial.
Preparing for Depositions and Trials
Depositions and personal injury trials are very fact-intensive exercises. The purpose of a deposition is for opposing counsel to find out what you know and remember factually about the accident and how it happened – as well as your treatment, injuries, damages, and permanency that have resulted from the subject accident. Keeping a good medical diary or treatment journal makes preparing for a deposition or trial much easier because you will have all of the information you need in one place – especially if you received a large amount of medical treatment from several different healthcare providers at several different facilities or locations.
Damages in Personal Injury Cases
The ultimate goal of good medical record keeping on the plaintiff’s end is to streamline the litigation process and help the plaintiff present well at a deposition or trial. When a personal injury plaintiff presents well at deposition or trial, that positive performance increases the potential settlement value of the case.
In personal injury cases, a plaintiff may be entitled to both economic and noneconomic damages. Economic damages are those kinds of damages that can readily be measured in terms of dollars and cents. Examples of economic damages include compensation for medical bills and treatment, as well as lost wage compensation. Noneconomic damages, on the other hand, cannot be measured numerically and compensate personal injury plaintiffs for pain and suffering, mental anguish, and emotional distress.
When personal injury plaintiffs present well at a deposition or trial, they may be able to recover some or all of the following types of damages:
- Payment of medical and physical therapy bills
- Lost wage compensation
- Compensation for past, present, and future pain and suffering
- Compensation for past, present, and future mental distress and mental anguish
- Compensation for loss of consortium, companionship, and family support
- Compensation for causally related psychological or psychiatric treatment
- Punitive damages (under limited circumstances only)
- Wrongful death (if applicable)
Seek Legal Representation
In addition to keeping careful records of medical treatment, pain, and symptoms resulting from an accident, an injured plaintiff should seek out the services of an experienced New Port Richey personal injury lawyer who can do the following:
Recommend further treatment options
- Obtain all medical records and bills from hospitals, treating physicians, and physical therapy facilities
- Obtain information from insurance companies about their available policy limits of liability
- Submit a settlement demand to the insurance company
- Negotiate with insurance adjusters to obtain a fair settlement offer on the case
- File a lawsuit and litigate the case in the court system if necessary
- Take the case to trial or explore alternative dispute resolution options, such as mediation or arbitration
Contact a New Port Richey Personal Injury Attorney Today to Discuss Your Case
Insurance companies, generally speaking, are not interested in offering fair compensation for the injuries and damages plaintiffs sustain in motor vehicle accidents. Injured plaintiffs, therefore, should have experienced legal representation throughout their personal injury cases.
To schedule a free consultation or case evaluation with a New Port Richey personal injury attorney at Dolman Law Group, please call us at 727-853-6275 or contact us online.
Dolman Law Group
5435 Main Street
New Port Richey, FL 34652