Record-Keeping Basics

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log book for personal injury case notesOne of the simplest truths about litigation is that the best and most persuasive evidence usually prevails. If you’ve been injured in
an accident and you want the negligent defendant to pay for your medical bills, keeping copies of your medical bills is basic common sense. Few of us expect to be able to show up in a Tampa, Florida courtroom and simply tell the judge how much we “sort of remember” paying the doctor. Instead, we take the time to collect
and present the actual bills.

There are other types of records we should keep, however, that aren’t as obvious. Oftentimes, we file important facts away mentally instead of physically because we assume we’ll never forget them. Then, two years later when we finally get to the trial… they’re gone.

If you’ve been injured in an accident or have suffered actionable loss of any sort, start immediately to keep a log book of everything even slightly related to your case. Your attorney will help you decide what is important later, but for now your log could help you preserve your claim and even increase your damage award.

Write in your log book regularly, and consider the following categories of information to keep track of:

• Daily pain: Where does it hurt? How badly? Are there any new pains? Has anything happened that made your pain worse? Better? How well is your pain responding to medication?
• Doctor appointments: Who did you see? What did she say? Did you discuss any complications? What is the preferred course of treatment? Are you following her advice? Did you get a second opinion? Did you see a specialist? How far did you drive to attend appointments? What medications and/or medical devices did the doctor recommend?
• Employment: Did pain or doctor’s appointments cause you to miss work? Were you able to use paid time off or did your paycheck suffer? Is your injury from the accident making it difficult to do your job? How? Are there ways to compensate for the pain and still keep your job?
• Family life: Are you able to meet your family responsibilities? Enjoy time and intimacy with your spouse? Did your injury make you miss children’s recitals or cut back on other activities with your spouse and kids?
• Recreation: Are you still able to enjoy the activities you previously enjoyed? In what way is the injury making your normal activities difficult?
Not everything in your log will be important, and your attorney will help you decide how much of it to use. If nothing else, however, reviewing it during negotiation and before trial will help you present a clearer picture of the consequences you suffered because of the accident.

If you are in need of a legal malpractice, personal injury, medical malpractice, accident, or whistleblower lawyer in Tampa, Florida, the Tampa Bay attorneys of Wagner McLaughlin would be pleased to speak with you. We fight aggressively to protect the rights of our clients. Click here or call us today at (813) 225-4000 to schedule a free consultation.