Making a personal injury claim can be a stressful business as it usually follows an unexpected accident caused by someone else’s negligence. It can be hard to settle a personal injury claim unless you can show that you weren’t to blame for the accident and that you can identify who was at fault.
Evidence is crucial in these sorts of claims as well as adequate documentation of the cost of your injuries. You will probably find that a personal injury attorney is essential to advise you how to prepare for a claim, including what documents you will need. Here are some hints.
Documents Relating to the Accident Itself
You may have filed an accident report for the police, especially if a serious injury was involved. The police may have responded to the accident because of the way it happened. You should keep a record of any accident report you give to the police and also make a note of which police department handled the incident.
If you weren’t so seriously injured at the time of the accident that you were taken away in an ambulance almost straight away, then you may have been able to make some notes down about what happened. If you had a way of taking photos, you may have been able to preserve evidence to get a visual record of the accident or the hazard that caused it. You may also have had time to get some contact details of any witnesses that were present and saw what happened. Their testimony may prove crucial later, especially if you have to go to court to prove your case.
Documents Relating to Your Injuries
You will need to keep any medical records of the treatment you receive after the accident, especially the cost, including getting to and from hospital. You should also obtain a statement from anyone who has treated you to outline what sort of injuries you received. You must be able to link the severity of your injuries to the actual accident as well as identify who was at fault. In some cases, a defendant’s attorney may try and claim that the injuries you state existed before the accident, so correct documentation is needed to back up what you are claiming.
If your injuries are likely to need long term treatment, you will need to get as accurate an estimate of how much this is going to cost you as possible, otherwise you could be out of pocket. Your attorney will help you work out how to get an estimate of future medical treatment or support
Documents Relating to Lost income
If you were seriously injured in the accident, it will be likely that you will not be able to return to work in a hurry. If you own a business, you may not be able to manage it as usual. In either case, even if your employer is supportive and you don’t lose your job, you may lose a significant amount of income and will want to include this loss as part of the damages you file for in your claim. You will need to keep documents that show how long you were away from work or unable to contribute to running your business and how much this has cost you.
If you are likely to be unable to return to work in the future for any extended period you will need to obtain a realistic estimate of what this might cost you.
Documents Relating to Damaged Property
Depending on the nature of the accident, you may have had significant property damage such as to a vehicle if you had a traffic accident. You will want to include the cost of repair or replacement in your claim so will need to show the extent of the damage and the cost of repairing or replacing it.
This may be part of your own insurance policy and you may be making a separate claim through your insurer, but correct documentation is important regardless and your own insurance company’s adjuster will certainly want to know the details of the accident if someone else was at fault.
If you need help determining what to save for a claim, you should speak with a personal injury attorney today.