Suffering a personal injury can set you back in a lot of different ways – emotionally, physically and financially. Continuing with your medical care is critical to your recovery, but another key aspect is the expense of that treatment. This is why tracking medical costs is critical to the outcome of your claim.
Anderson & Cummings explain more about tracking medical costs after an injury due to another party’s negligence and why it matters to your claim.
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Why Should I Track My Medical Costs After a Personal Injury?
There are a number of valid reasons to track your medical costs after suffering an injury caused by another party. These records:
- Provide evidence of your damages: Accurate and organized records of your medical costs provide concrete evidence your attorney can use to prove the financial impact on your health.
- Show you are committed to getting better: Carefully keeping track of your medical costs shows you are serious about getting the medical treatment you need to get better. This point is key, as victims have a duty to mitigate their damages.
- Make you a more credible plaintiff: Tracking all of your doctor’s visits and other medical costs shows responsibility on your part. This matters in an injury claim and can make you more credible in the eyes of the jury if your case goes to court.
- May increase awarded compensation: Whether your claim is settled or won by a jury verdict in court, having well-documented records of your medical costs help to maximize your claim and ensure you receive full and fair compensation for the medical costs resulting from your injury.
What Items Should I Include As Proof in My Medical Expense Records?
Trying to figure out what medical costs to track and what documents you need to hold onto may seem overwhelming, especially while dealing with an injury. That said, to maximize your claim, you should begin saving documents and tracking all medical costs related to your injury from day one.
Emergency Medical Care
Include the costs of any treatment you received at the accident scene, ambulance services, if required, and any emergency room costs.
For example, you may have been transported by ambulance to a nearby hospital. Once there, you were likely seen by the ER doc and underwent diagnostic testing to find out where and how badly you were injured.
All these things are billed separately, so be sure to save these invoices. Hospitals are often quick to bill patients. In fact, you may even get a bill before you leave the ER. However, these initial bills rarely include a list of all the services rendered. Save that initial invoice but then contact the billing department and request a bill that includes an itemized list of all the services you received.
Follow-up Medical Appointments
Hold onto all the bills and doctor’s notes for any ongoing medical appointments, testing or treatment you receive as a result of your accident and the injuries you sustained.
Try not to miss any appointments, but if you have to, it should only be for a valid reason, such as if you got sick. Be sure to reschedule your appointment right away.
If you must miss an appointment, note that date and missed appointment in your records, but also note why you missed that appointment. You may need that information later.
Injured victims may not think of physical therapy as medical treatment, but this care is still an integral part of their recovery. It also carries an additional cost you should not have to pay, so save your invoices for this treatment as well.
Additional medical costs you may get charged for following an injury could include:
- Hospital stays
- Surgeries you may need
- Mobility devices – such as crutches, a wheelchair or prosthetic devices
- Prescription medications – such as for pain management
- Transportation to get you to and from your ongoing treatments
- Mental health counseling
- Caregiver costs
- And more
In short, document all medical costs that stem from the accident that caused your injuries.
How Do I Ensure My Medical Cost Records Are Organized and Accurate?
Develop a tracking system that works for you. There are many different ways you can do this. For instance, some people may prefer to scan all of their documents and store them on the computer. Others prefer a more manual approach. Maybe create one filing system and put every bill, document or letter in this file in order of the date received.
Whatever method you choose, being consistent and accurate is the key.
How Does Tracking My Medical Costs Benefit Me During the Legal Process?
The consistent, accurate tracking of your medical costs can greatly benefit you during the legal process. It is strong evidence that can help to positively boost and influence your attorney’s negotiation efforts. Additionally, this type of documentation is physical evidence and difficult to refute, which further strengthens and supports your case for compensation.
Call Our Trusted Firm to Discuss Your Situation
At Anderson & Cummings, we are here to help victims injured by the negligence of others. Even if you are not sure whether you have a valid case, you should call. Our firm provides a FREE case review to assess whether you may have legal options.
If you have a case and we represent you, there is nothing for you to pay – no upfront costs and no fees throughout the legal process. We take personal injury claims on contingency only, so if we do not win your case, you do not pay our fees.
Experienced Lawyers. Proven Results. (817) 920-9000