Documentation is crucial to establishing a successful personal injury claim. A person injured through the negligence of another, or while working on the job, can help a possible legal claim they may have by keeping detailed and accurate records.
A good guideline to follow for proper documentation is as follows:
- Make a record of what you remember from your accident/incident as soon as possible.
As the time goes by, you may forget important details, such as witnesses or conditions. A record you made of your memory, as close to the date of the accident, will help keep your memory fresh and can help an attorney visualize what happened.
- Take pictures of your injuries, property damage, the scene of the incident, etc.
Injuries, damage, and the site of the incident can all disappear and/or change extremely quickly. Preserving this by taking pictures can help your claim later in the process.
- Obtain an accident/incident report
This comes in the form of a police report (for an automobile accident) or from your company/supervisor (if injured at work).
- Keep a diary of your symptoms/injuries for you to tell your treating doctors.
- Keep a chart of the all doctors you have seen for your injuries, including names and specialties.
- Make a ledger of all of your out-of-pocket expenses associated with the accident.
This includes any co-pays you made for office visits, prescriptions, treatment, etc.
- Keep track of all days/hours missed from your job.
This includes time that you were forced to take off to attend visits with your doctors
These documents give you a good start to help any legal claim you may have. In addition, these notes can help an experienced lawyer get a good look at your legal claim as it develops and can help you avoid any possible pitfalls in the claim process.