In the immediate turmoil after an accident, there are many things on an injured person's mind. The recovery process, treatment options, liability for the accident, even representation options can cloud a mind already attempting to recover from a traumatic physical and emotional experience. Hiring a Virginia personal injury attorney can alleviate many of these concerns so that the client can more fully focus on treatment and getting better.
However, there is one thing that a client can do to help themself recall some of the details of their recovery from the first day after an accident: keep a journal. The journal does not have to be complicated or lengthy, but a regular entry of how one is feeling on a particular day, how treatment is going, and how the accident has limited one's daily routine can be extremely beneficial to the proper development of a claim.
One reason why a client's journal is so important is because it levels the playing field with the doctor's impressions of the client's progress, as recorded in the medical records. Periodic medical records are often used by defense attorneys and adjusters to lessen the significance of a client's injuries. The reasons for this are two-fold: the reports represent an atypically small sample of the client's issues and clients tend to exaggerate toward positive outcomes with their physicians.
The client journal allows the client to make updates on their recovery a consistent part of their daily routine until they reach maximum medical improvement, often called "MMI" or until their treating physician provides a disability rating. A Virginia personal injury attorney can then use the journal to help evaluate the client's case for presentation in a demand package. The notes of a journal help to personalize the demand process and transforms the client's recovery and pain and suffering from numbers on medical bills into a compelling narrative in the client's own words.
Furthermore, in this Internet age, client journals no longer have to be yellow pads or spiral notebooks. Rather, laptops, iPads, and even smartphones can be equipped with note taking software, from Microsoft Word to an interactive program like Evernote, streamlining the process and making it easier to synchronize with your personal injury attorney.
This blog post was written by Thomas Soldan, a personal injury attorney at Price Benowitz LLP.