Personal injury claims are not always just about medical expenses. A myriad of damages are typically on the table when someone successfully fights for damages in a personal injury case. That is why it is very important to document everything you can about the circumstances surrounding your accident, the impact on your life and employment and, yes, your injuries and medical expenses.
One of the best ways to do this is to take notes from the very outset of the accident. Notes will help to remind you of all of the important details of your case months down the line when you and your attorney set out to calculate desired damages in your case. Memory alone is a poor reference for the time, pain and loss you endured as a result of the accident.
Facts matter in an injury case and notes that document all of the details of your accident will help bolster the facts of your case and the damages you are demanding. (Read our Personal Injury F.A.Q. for key points regarding accident claims)
Circumstances of Your Accident
From the very outset, it is very important to document the circumstances of your accident. Everything from the time of day to the number of witnesses to the positioning of traffic signs can be an important factor in determining fault in your case. Details help to set a context and with the absence of a clear causal agent, context may be the best way to help determine fault and liability. As soon as you are clear-headed enough, document the circumstances surrounding your accident to support your case.
As with the circumstances of your accident, you want to document your injuries from the very first opportunity you have. If you suffer pain or discomfort, you want to document it. Of course, you want to keep all medical records to document doctors' diagnoses, and treatment you receive. But keep a daily journal to note the level of pain, anxiety, loss of sleep and any other injuries you notice from day to day. This will be helpful in identifying less quantifiable losses in your case.
Loss of Income or Other Losses
Your accident may impact your ability to earn a living. If that happens, you want to document those losses from the start. Take notes immediately after the accident when you suffer a loss of any element of your lifestyle prior to your injuries. Whether they are educational opportunities, social opportunities, marital harmony or other losses, these are important to note from the very start in order to get a real sense of the accident's impact on your life.
Take notes on all of the discussions you have with people involved with the accident. Documenting in-person or telephone conversations (and preserving any email or text communications) is important because it helps to note details as seen by those involved (including witnesses, claims adjusters, medical personnel and insurance representatives).
It is also important to document the scene of the accident. If you can have photos taken at the time of the accident, remember to do so. That can help set conclusive evidence in your case. It may also be helpful to return to the scene of the accident to get photos and locate and talk with witnesses who might be able to support your case.
It is also important to consult with an experienced personal injury attorney like the skilled injury lawyers of Panio Law Offices. We can help support the establishment of fault in your case with documentation of all evidence and expert witnesses testimony. We have a wealth of experience winning large rewards for our clients in injury cases. Call us at (708) 928-8680. We can help.