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3 Reasons Medical Injuries Need to Be Legally Documented

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Medical documentation should be part of the treatment process for every injury even if there are no legal ramifications for that particular injury. That way, if something else happens to you, then you can prove a history of what has happened before so that you can receive that to which you are entitled.

1- Prove the Injuries are Real

The most obvious reason why injuries need documentation is to prove that they actually exist. It’s far too easy to say, “Oh, my back/knee/elbow/head/whatever hurts, and it’s because of so-and-so’s negligence.” Such documentation could come from doctors in private practice, from a hospital or other care facility, or even after interviews with paramedics at an accident scene. The documentation must be both thorough and clear, and there should also be accompanying evidence. That evidence could include the results of X-rays, MRIs, hospital treatment records, physical examinations, and the like. Additionally, there could be mental-health consequences that result from a traumatic event even if there aren’t any physical repercussions.

2- Receive the Correct Compensation

The second reason that injuries need documentation is so that you can bill the relevant insurance companies correctly and receive the correct coverage for the injuries you sustain. Also, if the event in question results in you acquiring a disease, serious or otherwise, that adversely affects your work and/or your life outside of work, then you would need the same kind of documentation to receive the correct compensation. If you were to require ongoing treatment for a period of time, possibly up to the rest of your natural life, then having the correct documentation is essential. The treatments involved could include all sorts of expenses, such as hospital bills, physiotherapy costs, the cost of prescriptions, psychiatrist’s fees, in-home healthcare costs, in-home support costs, costs associated with physical modifications to your home to accommodate your new needs after an injury or illness, or any other costs that could arise regarding your ongoing treatment.

3- Protect Yourself

The third reason is to cover yourself in the case of someone filing a lawsuit against you, legitimately or not. Some states, for example, have shared-fault laws in place for situations when accidents occur. Shared fault means that you could be assessed a certain percentage of blame regarding the cause of an accident. Let’s say that you were hit by another car whose driver ran a red light. In that case, the other driver would be 100% culpable for the accident. But, let’s say that you were trying to make it through on a yellow light and weren’t through the intersection yet. In that instance, it might be possible for a judge to determine that you had some percentage of culpability. Assume it’s 15%. That means that if you were awarded $100,000 in damages, you would receive $85,000 instead. The reason why documentation is crucial here is that you have to be able to show exactly what’s wrong with you so that the court can make a determination about what compensation you deserve.

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