If you have been injured in an accident, you may wish to work with a personal injury attorney to ensure you receive the largest settlement possible in your case. To assist your lawyer in preparing your case for court, you should bring as much documentation of the incident as you can to your initial consultation. As the saying goes, it’s better to not need it and have it than to need it and not have it; the same goes for documentation during a personal injury case. Here’s a look at some of the most common types of documentation and why you might need it to help build credibility in your case.
Documentation of the Accident Itself
Depending on the extent of your injuries and the severity of the accident, the police may or may not have been involved at the scene. If they were, get a copy of the police report for your attorney to review. If the police were not involved, take detailed notes describing exactly what happened to the best of your ability. Your memory can fade after the accident, so it is best to record your description of what happened as soon as you are able to do so. If you can have it timestamped as well, that will help you too.
To avoid any memory confusion or arguments with other parties involved, it is also a good idea to photograph or video yourself at the scene of the accident in detail. There is no need for fancy camera equipment; pictures or videos on your smartphone will be fine, as long as you can clearly see what is going on in the photo. Take photos from several different angles to ensure you aren’t missing any important details about the accident or the scene around the accident as well.
Documentation of Your Injuries
After an accident, you should always seek out medical attention, especially if you think you might be filing an insurance claim. Even if you don’t think you are seriously injured, it is still a good idea to have your physician give you a checkup. In addition to catching any underlying injuries you may have missed or don’t feel right away, this will also demonstrate that you followed proper procedures after the accident.
When you go to meet with your personal injury attorney, bring copies of your medical records in relation to the accident. If your doctor advised you against returning to work for a period of time, bring that documentation too. Any financial information relating to your treatment, like medical bills and future treatment estimates, will be helpful to your legal team as well. If you’ll be continuing your medical care after the resolution of your court case, that information will need to be factored into your settlement amount.
Documentation of Insurance
Before leaving the scene of an accident, always collect insurance and contact information from the other parties involved, whether that be another driver on the road, the owner of a business, or anyone else who may be determined to be at fault. You’ll need your own insurance information as well, including medical insurance, auto insurance (if applicable) and any umbrella or supplemental insurance policies you may have.
Your attorney will then act as an intermediary between the various insurance companies, handling any important details on your behalf. Remember, it’s better to have a personal injury attorney on your side who has experience in these matters before you talk with any insurance companies yourself. The insurance companies may try to manipulate or force you into making a statement that could work against you in your case. Thus, hiring a personal injury lawyer to take care of this is in your best interest.
Finally, make note of any potential witnesses to the accident, along with their contact details. Your attorney may wish to collect statements from them to use in preparing your case. If you are suffering from ongoing effects from your injuries, it can also be helpful to provide statements from your doctor, employer and loved ones regarding the impact your injuries have had on your daily life.
Every personal injury case is different, so there may be other information not listed here that is relevant to your specific case. These can include security tapes or surveillance, or any additional video or photos taken by other witnesses who were on the scene, although your attorney will be the one who will handle the investigation portion of the accident, if it is needed, and gather that information on your behalf.
It is a good idea to bring along anything you think may be helpful to your personal injury lawyer. The more information you can provide about the accident and its long-term impact, the easier it will be for your attorney to prepare a strong case for you.
Personal Injury Assistance in Melbourne, FL
If you have been injured in an accident, Andrew Pickett Law is here to help. We welcome you to reach out to our team to learn more about how we may be able to help you get the compensation you deserve. Call today for a free consultation. (321)-503-4014