When we get hurt, we look to the assistance of an attorney for guidance and to tell our story. While the attorney is the professional when it comes to fashioning your case, oftentimes your own best advocate is yourself when it comes to dealing with picking up the pieces after a bad accident. You have to always remember; the insurance company is not your friend and is looking to shortchange you at every turn. So when it comes to getting what you deserve, the only people who are going to fight for your rights are you and your attorney. Here are five ways in which you can help your attorney get you the medical treatment you need and the compensation you deserve. What it all amounts to is keeping good records and making your own file to keep things organized, which will be very helpful to your doctors and to your attorney.
Keep a diary. I tell every new client to keep a diary of how he or she feels. Keeping track of where your body hurts and the types of pain it feels is very telling of what your injuries are and how to treat them. Stabbing pains are caused by different reasons than shooting pains. If your back pain seems to spread into your legs, it is important to take note of that. Keeping a journal that lists all the times you felt these types of pains will be helpful for your doctor to know what is going on and how to treat you. And your diary can be very helpful if your case goes to trial in helping you remember the details of your injuries and how they affected your life.
Keep receipts. Keeping a record of any and all out-of-pocket expenses is crucial in building your case. Until the insurance company accepts your case, you will not have your medical expenses covered so that means you might be paying for things out of your own pocket for a time. If that is the case, and if you are going to be reimbursed for these costs, then you need receipts and records to show you are entitled to have these expenses paid for by the responsible party.
Speak up. If you are seeing a chiropractor and the adjustments he or she is doing helps your low-back pain but you are still feeling numbness in your feet and toes then you need to explain this. It might be that there is something he or she is missing or it might mean that there is something else that needs the attention of a different type of doctor. Either way, your doctor is not going to know unless you speak up. If you feel like your doctor is not listening, then let your attorney know so that the correct steps can be taken to get you the treatment you need; otherwise, what is the point?
Make your appointments and return calls. Nothing makes things more difficult for your case than if the insurance company thinks that you are not taking your treatment seriously. If your doctors make notes stating that you are missing appointments and suddenly there is a gap in your treatment then you have just taken your case and cut its legs out from under it. Making your appointments is crucial and if you miss an appointment, then call and let your doctor know and reschedule the missed appointment so there is no gap in treatment.
Ask questions, and demand answers. If at any point you are unsure of what is going on with your case or your treatment, then it is your responsibility to get your attorney or your doctor on the phone and find out what your status is. No one is going to know you have concerns if you do not voice them. Remember that your attorney and your doctors work for you, not the other way around. If you are not getting the service you deserve then do not be afraid to tell your treatment providers and your attorney. If you do not hold them accountable, then no one will and if you are not happy and do nothing, then the only person to blame for your troubles is staring back at you in the mirror.
Being a claimant or a plaintiff in a workers compensation or personal injury case is a lot like being a consumer, and it is incumbent on you to be a well-informed consumer. Don