Documenting for Your Injury Claim
Accidents happen all the time with many of them causing personal injury to the victim. If you were involved in a car accident, slip and fall or any other type of incident that left you battling injuries, you will undoubtedly want to file a personal injury claim. If you know the accident that led to your injury was due to the other party’s negligence or recklessness, you are liable to collect compensation for your medical expenses, property damage, lost wages and other damages.
Of course, there are certain components that make up a successful personal injury claim. Among the most crucial is the right documentation. Documentation can literally make or break your case. It serves as essential proof of your injury and how you suffered it. Documentation can also prove how the accident occurred and who is responsible for causing it. These are some of the things you need for documenting your injury claim.
Pictures of the Scene of the Accident
Pictures can tell a huge story when it comes to anything, including a personal injury claim. Make sure you have plenty of photos of everything relevant to the accident, such as the road conditions, damage to the vehicles involved, street signs, the speed limit, skid marks on the road and even weather conditions. You may also want to gather pictures of your injuries as well.
“Pictures can strengthen an injury case and might even show details you have previously missed during the time of the accident”, says Alan Ahdoot, Partner at Adamson Ahdoot, a personal injury law firm in Los Angeles.
Whenever an accident is serious enough that it results in injuries and significant damages, police officers should always be called to the scene. Once the responding officer arrives, they will make a thorough accident report. You can get a copy of the police report at your local police precinct. This is one of the best forms of documentation to have on hand as evidence in your personal injury case. Your attorney may also be able to contact the responding officer and ask a few questions if necessary.
In some cases, there may be other reports in addition to the police report. Incident reports are filed if an accident occurs at a business or at the workplace for employees who cannot get workers’ compensation for their injuries. If this is relevant to your case, you should get a copy of the incident report as part of your documentation. It may even provide you with tips on how to find additional evidence for your claim.
In general, most accidents that result in personal injury are viewed by at least one witness. Some situations involve multiple witnesses, such as a car accident or an accident at a crowded amusement park. After the accident that caused your injuries, you should have spoken with any witnesses you saw at the scene and obtained their names, contact information and statements. Witness accounts are best when they are either written or recorded via audio or video format. Your personal injury lawyer can also contact witnesses and follow up with them as crucial evidence in your case.
If the witness statements are written, you can also provide them to your attorney so they can be used in the event that an investigative team needs to recreate the scene of the accident.
Your Own Journal Detailing the Incident and Aftermath
Keeping a personal journal of the accident is absolutely essential. It ensures that your mind is fresh as soon as you have experienced the incident that led to your injuries. In addition, you should continue to keep the journal and write down all of your symptoms and how your injuries affect your everyday life and ability to perform your normal routine tasks. Include information about all your medical appointments as well.
You can also include copies of your medical records and medical bills in your journal. Your attorney will be able to explain all about your injuries, how they have affected you and how you are recovering. This can help you to not only recover the right amount of compensation for your damages but can also include additional damages like pain and suffering.
Expert Witness Opinions
In many personal injury cases, when things are a bit more complex, your attorney might have to get expert witnesses to testify on your behalf regarding how the accident and your injuries occurred. In this situation, you can get documentation of the expert witness’ opinions as part of the evidence in your case. This is information that can be absolutely essential in proving your case.
Letter from Your Employer
If your injuries have been serious enough that you have been forced to cut down your work hours or miss time from work altogether, you need a letter from your employer. This letter should state the normal amount of hours you work, how much time you have missed and how much money you normally earn within that amount of time but have lost out on. This is good documentation that proves you are due lost wages as part of your evidence.
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