How To Properly Document Your Personal Injury Losses

Lever & Ecker, PLLC February 12, 2016 General

It is important for the victims of an accident to understand how they can take steps to document every loss or expense that they have experienced after an accident. It doesn’t matter if you have been injured in a construction accident, a slip and fall, a car accident, or hurt by a defective product, you should use the following as a guideline.

Take Notes

As soon as you are able, you should write down everything that you can remember after your accident. Memories fade over time and the little details can be lost, so it is important that you note everything you can on paper as soon as possible. Keep a journal and continue to write whenever you experience a loss or physical pain as a result of the accident.

Take Pictures

It has been said that “pictures can speak a thousand words”. Taking photographs of the accident, the hazard or objects involved in the accident, and your injuries mean that you have invaluable evidence. These pictures show that you are not exaggerating your losses or the physical injuries that you have suffered.

Keep Everything – Even If It Seems Useless

You never know when one document can make or break a case. Keep absolutely everything that pertains to your accident in a safe place.

Make Copies

Don’t ever give away your information. If someone requests a specific document, make copies and keep the original for yourself.

Documents Your Attorney May Need

Any time that you are involved in a personal injury accident you should consult with an attorney as soon as you are able. In order to help you determine what legal option is best for you and your loved ones, they may ask you to provide:

Medical Records

Medical records will include exam notes, any lab work or testing performed, and any referrals or recommended treatments that your doctors make. Everyone in the United States has a legal right to obtain copies of their medical records so if you don’t already have them don’t worry. Simply submit a request in writing to each doctor you have been treated by.

Mental Health Records

In some situations the accident can leave the victim with emotional damage and they may seek the assistance of a therapist. The records your therapist keeps and the treatments they recommend may help to show how much of an impact the accident has had on your life.

Insurance Information

This includes insurance company names and policy numbers from all parties involved in the accident.

Bills And Receipts

Keep any bills or receipts for things that you have paid for that relate to your accident. This can be for prescriptions, medical treatments, the gas you needed to get to appointments, expenses for parking and public transportation, and more. If you have a question about what you can include, consult with a personal injury attorney.  

Proof Of Lost Wages

Copies of contracts, wage stubs, appointment calendars with potential clients, and proof of potential bonuses or promotions should all be kept in order to show how much you have lost by not being able to return to work.

Witness Statements

If anyone saw your accident collect their name, phone number, and address. Their statements can provide the proof you need to get the compensation you deserve.

Anything You Received From The Responsible Party

Always keep anything that you receive from the responsible party – including paperwork, letters, or phone messages. Do not respond to anything you are sent until you go over everything with an attorney. Anything you say or put into writing can be used against you so it is important to take every precaution.

How Long Should Plaintiffs Keep Documentation For?

You never know when you will need the information you have collected. Therefore, we recommend that you keep all documents – both material and virtual – in a safe place for as long as possible.