An effective medical chronology can be a useful, sometimes crucial, tool in personal injury cases. However, improper development or usage of a chronology can render them useless or even harmful in some cases. It is important to understand the proper method of developing a medical chronology in order to get the most out of it.
One common misconception about medical chronologies is that they are simply timelines or diaries of events with related dates. This is an easily understandable misconception, as the very word “chronology” suggests this type of thinking. However, an effective medical chronology needs to be much more than this. Instead of being just a diary of events, a good chronology should be a knowledge base of facts.
In order to help our clients get a better grasp on medical chronologies and their proper usage, we have drafted up a brief list of key aspects that should be kept in mind when developing them.
1. Begin Immediately
There is no reason to wait on building your medical chronology. From the first time you speak with a client, you will be gaining critical knowledge about the client, the case and the circumstances involved. These are most likely facts that will need to go into the chronology at some point anyway, so you should begin right away to avoid any unnecessary work or, even worse, possibly losing track of a key element.
2. Include All Facts
Even facts that are disputed or considered questionable should be included in your chronology. Even if a fact can be disputed when initially entered, having it in your chronology will provide useful opportunities to brainstorm about possible witnesses, documents or other sources that could give it more validity.
Also facts that seem unimportant should be entered. Far too often, a piece of information seems inconsequential at first, only to prove itself vital later on. List even this information when it is presented instead of racking your brain or scrambling through notes later on.
3. Evaluate the Facts
Now that you have each fact listed in your chronology, you will want to examine each for its relevance and validity. Your chronology should eventually be filled with facts, so you will probably want to create a ranking system to determine which facts will be most useful to your case.
These are just a few of the key aspects involved with created an effective medical chronology. Understanding and creating a proper medical chronology could be the difference between a quick settlement and a lengthy trial. At the very least, it is a helpful tool to save headaches and loads of unnecessary work for you and your staff.