Life can be overwhelming after you’ve suffered a personal injury due to someone else’s negligence. There’s a lot to keep organized, and gathering your medical records the right way will make filing a claimeasier during your recovery.

If you are involved in a personal injury, seek medical attention as soon as possible, even if there are no physical signs of injury. You should collect and keep your medical records because official documentation will help you receive a successful outcome for your claim.

Why is it Important to Keep My Medical Records?

Having all your medical records together can make or break your case. If you decide to hire a personal injury attorney, they can give a clear record of what has been done on the case. Your ability to prove expenses paid for medical treatments may have a direct bearing on the amount of your settlement.

Take Written Notes of All Phone Conversations

When you speak on the phone with someone regarding your case, keep notes and write everything down. Leaving these conversations to memory may affect your case later when you try to recount what has been said and you forget to mention important details. File these notes with your other records from the injury.

What Medical Records Do I Need to Keep?

All of them! First, start with the injury itself. Were you taken to the hospital by ambulance? Keep a record of the bill and any notes available from the EMTs or paramedics. You should also be able to obtain a copy of your hospital admitting chart, diagnoses, and other official medical records from your doctor or the ER.

You want to request copies of all doctor’s and nurse’s notes from your hospital records. Were you given any prescriptions? Have a record of medications, quantities, times, and dosages.

Did you have any tests or examinations done to assess or treat your injury? Keep a record of the exams, and any results that you have from them.

How Do I Organize My Medical Records?

It’s important to have all your documentation organized as a complete file to avoid confusion or lost records. All paperwork should be together, including bills, photographs, letters, notes, and other miscellaneous documents, and save everything, even if you don’t think that it is important to your case. You will want to buy an accordion folder that has room for your medical records, and any other documentation from your injury.

Make a cover sheet for your medical records, indicating all appointments and subsequent treatments. Place all paperwork and medical records in the file, with the most recent in front. This paper trail should tell the story of your injury and treatment.

Take and Keep Photographs

This is essential when it comes to documenting your injuries. You will want to take pictures of theinitial injuries right away. Then, over time,create a photo journal of your recovery and treatment. This will show the progress of your injury and document the healing process. Be sure to date your photos to show the time span.

Keep a Separate Calendar

It’s a good idea to keep a separate calendar that’s dedicated to your personal injury claim. Attach it to the outside of your folder, or use a digital calendar on your computer or phone to stay organized and informed. Include on it all your doctor’s appointments and meetings with your lawyer. You should also use it to keep track of any court dates, appraisal dates, and deadlines.

This calendar will keep everything together and make a timeline of your case. Whether you hire an attorney or do all the administrative tasks yourself, the success of your claim can depend on your organization. Missing documents may cost you time and money when it’s time to calculate a fair settlement.