How to Document Your Injuries After an Accident
Hurt in an accident caused by another party in Colorado Springs? You could be entitled to financial compensation for medical expenses, lost wages, pain and suffering, and other losses. But proof of injury is essential in any personal injury case. Knowing how to document your injuries will help your attorney build a strong case for maximum compensation on your behalf.
Here’s what to do after an accident to document your injuries and protect your legal rights.
Seek Immediate Medical Attention
Your health is always the top priority after an accident. See a doctor as soon as possible. Some injuries don’t present with immediate symptoms. Getting a physical examination is the best way to ensure that your injuries are properly identified, treated, and documented on your medical record.
Insurance companies typically require you to be seen and evaluated by a medical professional “promptly” after an accident. If you delay seeing a doctor, an adjuster could argue that your injuries did not stem from the accident. To protect your right to compensation, seek medical help immediately or soon afterwards.
Report the Accident
Report the accident as soon as you can. For traffic collisions, call 911. Law enforcement officers will investigate the scene and draft a detailed report of the accident, include relevant information such as descriptions of your injuries and damage to the vehicles involved, contact information for the drivers and any witnesses, an initial determination of fault, and more.
For workplace accidents, report the accident to your supervisor immediately in writing. If you are injured on someone else’s property, report the accident to the manager, landlord, or owner as soon as possible. Be sure to request a copy of all accident reports.
Get Photos and Video Footage
If you are able, use your phone to take pictures and videos of the accident scene. Having a visual record of what occurred can be enormously helpful during the claims process. Take photos of the site from various angles. Don’t forget to include shots of your injuries. Later, if the at-fault party tries to blame you for the accident, your photo and video evidence could help refute their allegations. Photo and video evidence may also help bolster your claim with the insurance company.
Get Contact Information for Witnesses
If any bystanders happened to witness the accident, get their contact information. You may be able to call on them later to provide a statement or testify in court. Witnesses can provide an unbiased view of what occurred, which can carry significant weight with a judge, jury, or insurance company.
Write Your Own Account of the Accident As Soon As Possible
Write down everything you remember about the accident while your memory is fresh. Recollections fade over time. If the details you include can be corroborated by witnesses or other evidence, your claim gains credibility.
Keep and Organize All Medical Records
Medical records are the foundation on which your case is built. Create a file containing all of your healthcare records to document your case. Ask your physician to provide medical documentation that details the diagnosis of your injuries and the care you received. Gather documents such as:
- Treatment reports
- Hospital or other medical bills
- Medical test results
- Benefit letters
- Medical imaging and scan results
- Prescription medication labels
- Physical therapy bills
- Cost of any round-the-clock nursing care, assistive devices, or home renovation required to accommodate a new disability caused by the accident
Medical bills can quickly become sky-high, but you can claim compensation for them if someone else is to blame for the accident.
Don’t worry if your injuries prevent you from obtaining your medical reports. An experienced personal injury lawyer can do it for you.
Keep Pay Stubs or Other Documentation of Your Lost Earnings
You can also claim compensation for lost earnings in an accident claim. In some cases, your injuries may prevent you from working. If you can’t immediately return to your job, compensation can help cover the cost of your lost earnings for the period you were off work and recuperating. To recover the appropriate number of lost wages, keep pay stubs or other documentation of your lost income during your recovery period.
Write Daily Entries in a Pain Journal
Keep a pain journal that details your injuries, treatment, and recovery process. Maintaining a journal will help you organize detailed thoughts and impressions about your condition. In addition to documenting your physical injuries, you can also record mental stress and trauma, including:
- Memory issues
- Changes in mood or personality
- Emotional detachment
- Avoidance issues
It may seem tedious to document all of your thoughts and feelings about your condition at first, but it could help you recover additional compensation in the long run. You may also be entitled to claim compensation for pain and suffering, which would include post-traumatic stress syndrome (PTSD), emotional distress, and mental anguish resulting from the accident.
Share Your Records with Your Lawyer
Consult with a personal injury attorney and share your records with them. These documents will be valuable tools for the lawyer to build a compelling claim for compensation on your behalf.
Contact Jeffrey Scott Lasswell, PC, for Help with Your Accident Claim
If you have been injured in an accident, put Jeffrey Scott Lasswell, PC to work for you. Our Colorado Springs car accident lawyer has the knowledge and experience needed to investigate the accident, gather vital evidence to help support your claim, determine what your case is worth, and aggressively pursue full and fair compensation for your losses.