After an accident, you may quickly accumulate medical expenses. It can seem challenging to keep up with the associated paperwork. You may also be wondering how much of the documentation you need to keep. This is a common question after an accident that causes injury, whether it is a car accident, a slip and fall, or a dog bite.
The National Safety Council (NSC) estimates that about 3.4 million crashes in 2020 resulted in medically consulted injuries. If you’ve been injured in an accident that was caused by someone else, you may be entitled to receive financial compensation. You need to speak with an experienced personal injury attorney about your case.
What Documents Should I Track?
You should track all documents that you receive from all medical visits. This includes any supporting documentation you receive in the mail or via email after any medical appointment. You may receive medical bills, receipts, and invoices.
The medical expenses you incur may include costs for:
- Visits to the emergency room (ER)
- Ambulance trips
- Tests and procedures, such as CT scans, x-rays, or MRIs
- Prescription medication
- Physical therapy
- Medical equipment, such as crutches or orthopedic braces
- Visits to your primary care physician (PCP)
- Visits to specialist doctors
- Surgical procedures
- Hospital stays
- Home health care
- Household assistance
- Mental health appointments
It’s important to note that this is not a comprehensive list. You should speak with your attorney to ensure you understand the medical expenses they need you to track.
How Should I Organize My Documents?
You may end up with many documents that can become difficult to keep track of unless they are sorted. When you track your medical expenses in an organized way, it will be easier to find the documentation your legal team needs.
Creating a well-organized system will also set you up for success if you must provide testimony during a deposition. It may become difficult to remember details about the medical care you have received, such as dates, doctors’ names, and specifics about medical treatment. Your system of documentation will help you find this information quickly and easily.
You may already know how you like to organize your files. It can be helpful to use this system if it has worked well for you in the past. You should also consider methods such as:
- A physical journal — this is a simple, easy-to-use method that doesn’t require learning any new apps or software. Include details about the date, type of treatment you received, cost, and any notes that may be relevant. You can also include pain tracking in your journal. By keeping a daily record of your physical symptoms and pain level, you will create a document that can be useful in building your case as you pursue compensation for your losses.
- A spreadsheet — this option allows you to include columns for all the information you want to track. You can use one row for each visit or treatment appointment. The data you track can be as detailed as you want. An electronic spreadsheet allows you to sort and filter by fields such as date, doctor, treatment type, and invoice amount. If you choose this option, you should consider keeping the source document stored and organized correspondingly. You can do this with physical files, digital scans, or both.
- A designated physical container — this can be a large binder, an organizer, a filing cabinet, or a document storage box. Get into the habit of immediately adding all new documents you receive to the physical storage system in the proper location. Instead of simply adding new items to the top of the pile, make sure to file them correctly as you receive them.
- Digital scans or photos — the camera on your smartphone is likely high resolution and could function well as a document scanner. In addition, you can download apps that are intended to help simplify the document storage process. Your attorney may already have a platform they are familiar with and prefer to use. Whichever method you select, regularly back up your data, so you have a recovery option if needed.
No matter which method you use, consistency will be key. It’s important to establish positive organizational habits from the beginning of your claim or case. These good habits include promptly filing documents as you receive them. When you do, you will avoid ending up with a daunting stack of unfiled documents that can take a long time to sort and file.
Call The Yates Firm
If you’ve been hurt in an accident that was not your fault, you may be entitled to compensation. You need to discuss your case with an experienced personal injury attorney as soon as possible.
Contact us at (843) 692-3237 to talk with a member of The Yates Firm’s legal team. You can also submit a contact form to schedule a free consultation. Let our personal injury lawyers take over your case so you can focus on your recovery and move forward with your life.