Collecting medical records after a car collision
From time to time, we allow other personal injury attorneys from around the country write a guest article about issues relevant to the personal injury practice. Steve Harrelson of the Harrelson Law Firm is a personal injury lawyer Little Rock, AR trusts. “One of the most important things to do when filing an insurance claim,” says Harrelson,” is to make sure that you are able to collect all medical records to provide a total and complete snapshot of how the collision has affected your life.”
This means that it’s important to write down the name of each and every single 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 examined you only once. Your lawyer will have you execute a HIPAA-authorized medical authorization or medical release in order to request a full set of all medical records.
Even if you are being treated at a clinic or hospital, an individual physician who sees you may maintain personal notes or narratives at his individual medical practice, and 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. A request 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 in an effort to see how this collision has exacerbated a pre-existing injury or has exploited an unfortunate condition, such as hemophilia.
Also, when conducting an investigation, it’s important to obtain incident reports from each and every law enforcement agency 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 in order to see its contents. They may 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 Little Rock, AR 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. This does not even take into consideration the portion of your claim regarding lost wages, which will be discussed in the next guest blog from the Harrelson Law Firm.
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. Steve Harrelson, a car accident lawyer Little Rock, AR trusts, stands ready to help.
Thanks to Steve Harrelson and our friends and co-contributors from Harrelson Law Firm, P.A. for their added insight into the compilation of medical records and bills after a car accident.