Don’t make your personal injury case difficult to win by committing the number one mistake made in a personal injury lawsuit — failing to document your case accurately. Keep reading to learn how to help your case, not hurt it.
Document, Document, Document
One of the most important factors in a personal injury case is clear, accurate documentation. The best way to substantiate your injuries and tally up your losses is through accurate record keeping.
Proper documentation is the one way to ensure you get the compensation you deserve. Failing to document your case is a costly mistake! Keep reading for tips on how to document all aspects of your personal injury case.
Document the Accident
Always call the police even if the accident occurs on private land. The police are considered a neutral third party, so if they make a report of the accident, you’ll have a weighty piece of evidence on which to build your case.
Take lots of pictures. Clear, sharp images are needed. Take more pictures than you think you need. Don’t forget to take shots of the surroundings, including any objects such as road signs that can help establish your claim. For example, if the person who struck you turned illegally onto a one-way street, you’d want to have photos that show the one-way street sign near your car and the defendant’s car.
If you can get a video of the accident, you’ll only strengthen your case. That’s a good reason to have dashcam-style video cameras mounted and operating in your car. If you don’t have a video camera in your car, there’s a chance that an eyewitness driving another vehicle captured the accident on his dashcam.
The potential helpfulness of eyewitnesses is the reason that you should always try to get the names and contact information of any other drivers who stopped at the scene of the accident.
Document Your Injuries
Always agree to go to the hospital when you’ve had an accident. First, at the time of the accident, you can’t trust your perception of your condition because of adrenaline. Adrenaline can interfere with your ability to perceive pain and remember events. You’ll only feel the pain and remember details once your stress level has returned to normal.
The ER doctor will be able to accurately assess your medical condition and provide a professionally written summary of your injuries. This step is important. If you skip this step, you could endanger your case. Your injuries will come under greater-than-normal suspicion by the defendant’s insurance company if they aren’t documented until days or weeks after your injury.
You should also take pictures of your injuries. Take pictures before and after you’ve been treated at the hospital.
A video goes a long way here also toward increasing your odds of receiving a sufficient compensatory payment. If possible, video record your physical rehabilitation sessions. The sight of you struggling to regain basic abilities such as walking, bending over, or putting on your shoes powerfully illustrates the extent of the change that the accident brought to your life.
Document Your Damages
Don’t have a family friend who’s not a professional mechanic or body shop expert work on your car. Once again, you want documentation written by a recognized, legitimate business.
You should seek similar paperwork from other relevant professionals if there were personal items in your car that were damaged, such as your smartphone or computer.
Document Your Recovery
Keep every pill bottle and receipt related to your accident. Keep a diary of your trips to the doctor, hospital, physical rehabilitation, mental health therapist, lawyer, auto mechanic, and so forth.
These records show that you were doing all you can to get better. They also show how much time and effort were required to treat the physical and mental injuries you received in the accident.
Get Experienced Help with Your Injury Lawsuit
Your need for a professional doesn’t end with just a doctor and a mechanic. You also need a professional injury lawsuit attorney. An experienced attorney will take all of your documentation and use it to create a solid case that will get you the compensation you deserve to get your life back on track.