05072010072So, you’re not dead…yey! After years of paperwork though, you might not think that…

When you have a life threatening accident of any sort, it’s quite an inconvenience – you rarely prepare for it, and then you have to go through ‘who’s fault it was’, followed by a rain forest sized amount of things to sign, read and record.

To save you loads of depressing time later, I strongly suggest you make good notes as you go along your path to recovery. I’ve just spent nearly 3 solid days collating my various notes from random places (including Facebook status updates!) and I could have saved loads of time by putting it in one place. I did do this to a point, but like most hobbies, I soon lost interest…I’ve paid for it over the last few days!

So, first of all – HOW to make notes? Now your case may go on for years…and it will if you’re properly damaged, you can of course use paper and pen of course, no harm in that. But if you were born in the ‘keyboard age’, you might prefer to use your beloved tech’ to become more efficient and all that rubbish. I would personally suggest any provider of free cloud computing and storage, this could be google docs (if you have a google mail account), or hotmail/live (of course, if you have one of those email accounts). Create yourself a spreadsheet with a couple of relevant column headings, a bit like this:

extract-of-accident-notes

 

So you’ve got your method out the way, just make sure you create a copy every now and again – I know it’s very unlikely that a monopoly company like Google are going to have problems, but you never know…and you’d cry if you lost it all (as would your solicitors). Also, if you have a family member, or really good friend, ‘share’ access to your record so that they can add stuff on your behalf. Of course, there’s a chance that you might be unconscious (one way to avoid NHS food), so if you have a friend in an unfortunate position, why not start something like this off for them eh?

It has to be said of course, that the moment your life changes drastically, the last thing you may be thinking of is making a notes. In my case, my girlfriend wasn’t certain I was going to survive for around 3 days – so the last thing she was thinking about was making notes for insurance purposes. This stuff can easily be done once your conscious and more ‘with it’, which can take a good few weeks or a month before all of the drugs start draining out of your body.

Next is what do you need to make a note of? E V E R Y T H I N G, I can’t say that loud enough. This can include things like (yeah sorry, a long’ish list):

  • Duration in hospital; when did you start/stop ANY medication.
  • How long were you on mobility aids or when did you stop using them
  • If there are side effects, however embarrassing such as sexual things. Perhaps even  PTSD if you were in a really bad way.
  • When pain stops and starts and why/how.
  • Take regular pictures of scars, making a note of how they look (optional, but at least take pictures).
  • When you do physiotherapy/hydrotherapy
  • How long you spend doing exercises set out by Physio’ staff
  • When you have operations
  • If you have any sleeping problems
  • Mention ANY help you received from family/friends/partners and how long for. For instance, if you had to be lowered onto a toilet (ahh, the memories), that person was essential and by them being there, it saved someone else being paid to do the job – so that’s worth something, which you can then give them at the end of a case (if you’re a decent person of course).
  • Note any relationship changes that occur because of an accident, such as the termination of a sexual relationship, etc.
  • Make monthly/quarterly (at least 6 monthly) updates describing any areas of life that are different because of the accident.
  • Cost/Distance of any hospital / GP visits you have to make specifically because of the accident (including parking costs).
  • Bladder/Bowel movements (generally worth noting, although not nice I appreciate)
  • Keep ANY receipts for medicine or anything needed for your various problems, even special clothing (I had velcro shoes…rock on).

To friends and family: If you can, take pictures of the scene of an accident, as well as the vehicle, and your busted up friend (at the scene or in hospital). As many pictures as you can take, every angle, every detail possible. These ARE NOT for putting on Facebook, unless you’re really needy and desperate for something to talk about.

That is all, hope you enjoyed that and/or hope it helps someone out there.

Keep the rubber side down ya’ll.

Chris