Medical records are one of the most important pieces of evidence in a personal injury case. They can prove the extent of your injuries and justify your goal of maximum compensation. Records of appointments, medications, long-term plans, and doctor’s notes can all help your case. A doctor’s note can be especially useful if you need to take time away from work to recover. Your employer may legally require a doctor’s note to approve a sick leave or extended time off request.

What Does a Doctor’s Note Look Like?

A doctor’s note is an official assessment made by your physician following an injury. It should include details such as:

  • Your official diagnosis
  • A treatment plan
  • How much time you’ll need to heal
  • Medications required
  • Other information

This information can help your employer make decisions about your employment. It will be used to determine paid or unpaid time off, abilities to work in a reduced capacity, and other possible accommodations. Moreover, a doctor’s note will also be used as evidence in your personal injury trial. It essentially serves as a testimonial from your doctor, a medical professional who knows your injuries the best.

How Do You Get a Doctor’s Note?

Getting a note is simple. Following a medical examination, all you need to do is let your physician know you need a doctor’s note to provide your employer. But first, ask your employer if your doctor needs to fill out a company form or if they are allowed to write one on their own. Some companies like to use their own forms for the sake of getting the preferred details. They may also let you know what they want on a doctor’s note.

While most doctors are already familiar with what goes on a note, it’s still important to provide them with much information as you can. Speak to them in detail about the incident, your resulting injuries, and any questions you may have. Be honest and straightforward when explaining how you feel; any injuries that are exaggerated or made up will not have enough evidence to be supported in your case, nor will they help your recovery. Asking the right questions, however, should get you get all of the information you need.

Questions to Ask Your Doctor

You’ll want to get every last detail about your injuries from your doctor, even if all of them won’t be included on the note. This will create a stronger record for your personal injury case. To ensure this, be sure to ask your physician the right questions. Justin Hill, a prominent San Antonio personal injury lawyer, recommends that you ask your doctor the following questions (if they are not provided already):

  • What is my official diagnosis?
  • What treatments will I need?
  • How long will my injuries take to heal?
  • How much time will I need off from work?
  • What is the estimated cost of my treatments?
  • Will I need any prescriptions?

Be sure to mention any pre-existing injuries or health conditions as well. Any prior injuries may be exacerbated and made worse following a new injury. All of this information will help your doctor explain to your employer how your injury may impact your ability to work.

Why a Doctor’s Note Is Important for Your Injury Case

As mentioned, a doctor’s note effectively acts as a testimonial from a medical professional. Different forms of evidence are collected in a personal injury case; photographs of the scene, eyewitness interviews, statements made to insurance companies, etc. A doctor’s note is simply another piece of evidence to help strengthen your case and improve your chances of receiving fair compensation.