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STEP ONE: Document Everything

If you have been injured on the job, it is important to document everything yourself, right from the start!

STL-work-compAt a trial, final hearing or deposition, to prevail on disputed issues you will need documentation that is better and more reliable than what the adjuster, employer, and their doctor has.

Think about it – your entire case is being documented by the other side. The claims adjuster, employer, and their doctor are making records. They will use these documents against you every chance they get. When is the last time the adjuster or doctor said “let’s review my notes to make sure what I put down is accurate.”

Do not assume that they will accurately document the facts, your complaints, your request for additional care, conversations about permanent problems or even the report of injury. On many occasions my clients have been shocked when we review the medical records and it’s noted that the doctor says ‘a little sore today’ or when I depose a supervisor who says “Joe never told me his back was hurting from work.”

What You Can Do

Document your case in the form of letters. Print your name, your date of birth, and your phone number. Make sure the date is on the letter. Keep a copy!

If the letter is to your doctor. Then write at the top of the letter “PLEASE PUT THIS IN MY MEDICAL FILE.” If it is to your employer, write at the top “PLEASE PUT THIS IN MY PERSONAL FILE.” Send several letters if you want.

Make and keep notes of everything. Confirm what you said and what they said. Ask for further treatment, ask for an MRI. Make sure you use short and simple sentences. At the end of the letter write, “If you disagree with any of the above, please respond in writing immediately.”

Additionally, confirm that you reported the injury. Confirm how the injury happened. Confirm what the doctor tells you. Confirm your requests for additional medical care. Confirm that your pain is worse due to the employer’s failure to provide work within the medical restrictions.



Contact the Law Office of James M. Hoffmann

For over 20 years our St. Louis workers’ compensation attorney James M. Hoffmann has been working to protect the rights of Missouri workers who have been injured on the job. When we take on your case you can be sure that everything will be done to protect your rights and get you the compensation you and your family need to recover and move forward.

Call us today at (314) 361-4300 to schedule a free consultation.

Or fill out our Online Case Evaluation Form.


photo credit:sarae