It’s important to write down the name of every medical provider who provided treatment to you after the accident. It begins with the ambulance service and first responders and continues with every physician who may have only examined you one time. Your lawyer will have you execute a HIPAA-authorized medical authorization or medical release, so that a request can be made to obtain a certified copy of all medical records on file with that provider
An individual physician who sees you may maintain personal notes or narratives at his individual medical practice — Even if you are being treated at a hospital or clinic – so it’s also imperative to make a request to that individual physician in addition to the clinic or hospital. Your lawyer can then organize the records (and medical bills) in a way that gives the insurance company a complete picture of how the car collision has changed your life. This is also true for all medication and pharmaceutical records – requests should be sent to all pharmacies where you have picked up prescriptions, even if the cost was covered by insurance.
Sometimes, if you have aggravated an existing injury, it may be important to obtain prior medical records to determine how this collision has exacerbated a pre-existing injury or has exploited an unfortunate condition, such as hemophilia. Lawyers learn in law school that the “eggshell skull rule” applies, and you should be compensated if a car collision caused you to have a bleeding incident that may not have affected someone without hemophilia in the same way.
When investigating the facts of the crash, it’s important to obtain incident reports from all law enforcement agencies who worked the accident. Sometimes, a fire truck may show up, so make a request to that entity to find out if anyone wrote up a report to view its contents. They can make great witnesses about what they saw when they arrived on the scene. Order a copy of the 911 call to find out what was said to the operator (and by whom).
Conducting a full investigation like this is the only way to maximize your compensation. As a personal injury lawyer trusts might attest, compiling a full report to submit to the insurance adjuster (or potentially a jury) is the best way to be compensated for the injuries you sustained.
For these reasons, it is always best to contact a lawyer to help you through a situation like this to (1) help you through the process while you’re recovering and (2) to maximize your benefits to ensure all of your injuries are appropriately compensated.