Filing a personal injury claim after an auto accident is a great way to get some compensation for your medical bills, pain and suffering, and maybe even your loss of work. But you'll need to do some evidence building to help increase the chance that you will win your case. Here are four important steps you can take to support your lawyer as they work their way through the legal process:
Photograph Scenes from the Accident
It's ideal to take photos of both the vehicles and the scene where the accident took place right away. But even if you didn't get any photos at the time of the accident, you can still provide photographic evidence using these steps:
- Go back to the scene of the accident to photograph the spot where you crashed and identifying street markers.
- Take photos of your vehicle before repairs are done on your vehicle, making sure to document every scratch big and small.
- Create photo documentation for all sustained injuries on your body.
It is also helpful to photograph any belongings that were damaged within your vehicle at the time of the accident. Photos offer a unique visual perspective of the incident that officials can refer to when they have questions about exactly where and how the events that took place.
Obtain an Official Report from Your Physician
While your medical records will undoubtedly make it into your legal file, it is also necessary to have your physician provide you with an official report about your sustained injuries that includes information about:
- Exactly how your injuries occurred.
- The extent of each injury.
- The types of medication you've been prescribed.
- The time off of work you need to recover.
- The expected overall recovery time of your injuries.
The more specific your doctor is willing to get when filling out the report, the easier it will be for officials to determine how much compensation, if any, you deserve for your physical injuries. Don't be afraid to ask specific questions about your health and injuries that don't seem to be answered in the report.
Get Yourself Evaluated by a Therapist
If you plan to request compensation for emotional damages of any kind, it is in your best interest to get yourself evaluated by a therapist. The evaluation should provide enough information for the therapist to determine the extent of your emotional injuries and how they correspond to your auto accident, although you may be asked to meet several times before a full evaluation can be made which is something you and your therapist will have to decide together.
Talking to a therapist can also help you to heal your emotional scars from the accident so that you can more easily adapt to life while you're healing your body and preparing to get back to work. And you should also be able to factor the cost of your therapy sessions in your personal injury claim.
Keep a Journal of Your Daily Progress
To ensure that you don't forget any important milestones or setbacks throughout the recovery process, keep a journal so you can record your progress on a daily basis. Your journal is yet another way to document the pain and suffering that you've endured due to the accident.
It also gives you something to refer to if you need to refresh your memory about specific events, like changes in medication types and the outcome, if you end up having to testify before the close of your case. Both digital and paper journals are effective – choose the option that you're more likely to remember using at the end of every day. Convenience is the key!
You'll want to be sure that copies are made of all the documents you are able to gather. This will allow you to give your car accident attorney the originals for legal use, and keep the copies hidden away at home for safe keeping.