Keeping a pain and healing diary is a great way to document your healing process and support your injury claim. I ask my clients to start from their heads and work down to their toes. Write down all the injuries you’re feeling on a given day and rate them on a scale of one to ten; ten being the most amount of pain that you can ever feel and one being no pain. It’s also good to keep a record of doctor visits in a diary, with notes from the visit and what was discussed. If you’re being treated for a long time, a year or more, it’s going to be hard to recall what happened in month six when you’re asked about it in month 23. You’re not going to remember a specific conversation. You may also have numerous doctors and might not remember all that was discussed.
If your case goes to litigation, you’re going to be asked to recall doctor visits and treatments you had. It is good to review the pain and healing diary before any legal proceeding. It will also help the attorney’s office to have a strong record of everything that occurs to compare with medical records, to ensure everything is consistent and nothing is missed.
It’s also important to follow the medical treatment plans and not miss appointments. Your best chance of healing and getting back to 100% is going to be to follow the doctor’s prescribed treatment plan. When you start missing appointments, the healing slows down because you’re not actively treating. This is also when the insurance company or attorneys for the insurance company on the other side will start pointing to the gaps in treatment and claim you have gotten better because you aren’t going to treatment consistently. They will try to minimize your injuries and the value of your case. The best chance to maximize recovery is to be consistent with your treatments and follow what the doctors say.
Personal Injury Damages – Calculated
In a personal injury case, there are two types of damages when trying to calculate a settlement. There are special damages, meaning doctor bills that are still owed, what your health insurance has paid out, future medical treatments, and anything you’ve paid out of your pocket, including co-pays, medical equipment, and anything needed for at-home therapy. The second part of damages is general damages. General damages are for the pain and suffering that you’ve endured from being injured and going to the doctor.
When we draft a demand letter to the other party’s insurance company, we look at the full scope of treatment and prognosis. How long was treatment? How many visits? What are the related costs? Also, when released from treatment, are you 100% healed? Will you need additional treatments? This is all considered when we work on your demand letter. We put a demand out there to the insurance company and wait for their initial offer. From there we negotiate, talking to them about their position and why, then tell them what our position is and why.
When we can’t get to a reasonable settlement with the insurance company, we then have a conversation with our clients. We review the negotiations and what the top offer is. We let them know the amount they would owe because the top offer is not enough to cover the bills. Then we speak to our clients about whether or not to file a lawsuit.
For more information on Creating a Strong Personal Injury Case, a free initial consultation is your next best step. Get the information and legal answers you are seeking by calling (562) 600-0807 today.