Personal Injury Claim

Personal Injury Claim

Fatal and nonfatal preventable injuries cost the U.S. economy $1.25 trillion in 2021. On top of that is the estimated $5.84 trillion economic cost resulting from the victims’ lost quality of life.

Personal injuries, in turn, account for many of those injury incidents. These include road crash injuries, slip and fall accidents, and medical errors. The worst part is that these usually result from someone else’s fault.

Sounds familiar?

If so, you may be able to recover damages from the party that harmed you. However, you must prepare all necessary personal injury claim documents first. These are essential to filing a claim and may even help improve your odds of winning the case.

If you’re unsure where to start, this guide is for you. Below, we’ve listed all the must-have documents you need for your case.

Police Reports

Police reports are neutral accounts detailing injuries and damages sustained in incidents. Moreover, they contain information about factors that could have contributed to what happened. For instance, in a car crash case, they may state that a driver was operating a vehicle under the influence.

Police reports also provide the reporting officer’s assessment. This may include who was negligent and why they’re at fault.

In the case of a DUI driver, their driving under the influence makes them negligent. They’re at fault since it’s against the law and a well-established reason for car crashes. It’s also a leading cause of road fatalities, killing 32 people in the U.S. daily.

All of that makes police reports critical to the claim-filing process. Indeed, they’re one of the first things insurance adjusters look for. Therefore, filing policing reports is imperative for road-related types of personal injuries.

Evidence You’ve Collected

In motor vehicle incidents, evidence may include photos of the accident site.

At the very least, the photos should show all involved vehicles from different angles. It should also display road conditions, traffic lights, and pertinent signals. They can also be pictures of injuries you’ve sustained.

You can document those photographs by printing them in high-quality resolution. Be sure to use high-quality photo paper too.

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If you took videos, create and keep at least one copy of each on a physical drive. Then, store another in an encrypted folder on your phone. You can also create a third backup and store it in the cloud for safekeeping.

If you could get witness statements, put them into writing, too. Also, include the witness’s name and contact number in the document. It would also be best to indicate the date the witnesses gave their testimonies.

Post-Accident Medical Records

Get medical treatment as soon as you can after an accident. Please do so even if you don’t have visible injuries, as many types of trauma don’t show immediate signs. Even worse, once they show up, the symptoms may last for months, even years.

For example, suppose you’re a pedestrian hit by a car. It may not have led to broken bones, but you still bumped your head.

You may think you only have a bruise on your head, but you may also have a traumatic brain injury (TBI). This can result in chronic conditions requiring long-term care and resources. However, you won’t know if you developed a TBI unless you see a doctor.

Besides, pedestrians have a higher risk of severe injuries than drivers or passengers. Therefore, their medical bills are likely to be higher, too. To learn more about pedestrian accident medical expenses, read further on Alphaaccidentlawyers.com.

Either way, you’d need to see doctors to seek compensation for medical bills. They’re the only credible source of medical reports for your personal injury case.

Get a copy of medical reports from all doctors you saw after the injury incident. They should have the time, date, place, and reason you saw the healthcare professionals. They should also contain information on administered tests, test results, and treatments.

Medical and Hospital Receipts

File and organize all your medical or hospital receipts. These should include your treatment or therapy bills and medication expenses. They should match the information on your medical records.

Pre-Accident Medical History

Please ensure you have records of pre-existing medical conditions, too. This is especially vital if your accident worsens it or has the potential to aggravate it.

An example is if you’ve already sustained a head injury from a previous fall accident. A motor vehicle crash may exacerbate this by causing Second Impact Syndrome (SIS). This may cause symptoms you didn’t have before the crash, like cognitive impairments.

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Another example is a car crash worsening a prior back injury. Before the crash, you only had minor back pain but could still work. Now, you have more severe chronic back pain that’s debilitating enough to make you miss work.

In either case, the most recent incident caused more harm by aggravating an injury or illness. You would not have sustained it if not for the crash.

You may be eligible to receive compensation under the eggshell skull rule. It argues that a negligent party is responsible for worsening a pre-existing condition. So, the at-fault driver can’t avoid liability just because you were ill or injured before the crash.

However, you can only get compensation if you prove the crash worsened your condition. In this case, all your doctors’ professional recorded statements can help.

Your doctors should also record their educated opinions on your long-term outlook. This is particularly crucial if your accident may lead to chronic health conditions. After all, it may result in you having more health expenses or lost wages.

Property Damage and Repair Documents

Property damages are property losses you may incur due to another’s negligence.

A car crash, for instance, may have destroyed your vehicle or any of its parts. In this case, the body shop where you took your car records every damage the crash caused. Other documents include repair and replacement estimates for your damaged property.

Keep receipts for other expenses, too, such as towing bills. Do the same for a vehicle rental you had no choice but to pay for because yours was in the shop.

On the other hand, a slip-and-fall accident may have damaged personal items. These may include eyeglasses, a mobile phone, or a laptop you were carrying. You must report these losses to the building’s management.

Lost Wages and Income Verification Documents

In January 2022 alone, some 3.6 million employees missed work due to an illness, injury, or a medical issue.

If an illness or injury you sustained due to another’s fault causes you to miss work, you may recover damages. However, you must prove this by providing your employer’s official report. It should contain information about your absences and the reasons you gave for such.

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The reasons you gave your employer should match the ones on your medical records.

You must also provide income information to receive compensation for your lost wages. You can accomplish this with pay stubs or W-2 Wage and Tax Statements.

If you’re self-employed, you can use your profit and loss statements as wage loss documents. You can also include your past year’s tax returns as income verification. If you had to turn down work, ensure you have copies of your correspondence with clients.

Your Personal Injury Diary

A traumatic experience like an accident can affect one’s memory. For example, it can distort a person’s recollections of events.

Trauma may also cause or contribute to dissociative amnesia. This condition is rare, though, only affecting 1% of men and 2.6% of women. Nevertheless, it can happen to anyone who has experienced overwhelming stress.

So if you’ve been in an accident, record everything you can remember while you can still do so. This way, you can keep track of all the pain and suffering you experience as a result of the incident.

Note everything you said and heard during phone calls relating to your incident. This may include calls from insurance companies and offers they may have made.

You can also write symptoms like pain or sleep impairments in your journal. For example, you can describe how you feel by rating your pain levels from 1 to 10, with ten being the worst. If you have sleep problems, jot down notes on how long it takes you to fall asleep or how short your sleep was.

You can use your notes as a reference when filing your claim. You can also share them with a personal injury lawyer (if you decide to hire one). Your attorney can use them to build a stronger case for pursuing general damages.

Prepare These Personal Injury Claim Documents

Now that you know more about vital personal injury claim documents, it’s time to prepare them. They can all help you demonstrate the harm you’ve experienced due to someone else’s fault. In short, they can play crucial roles in the success of your claim.

If you can’t prepare those documents because of your injury, hire a personal injury lawyer. They can gather and organize them on your behalf and even assist you in filing your claim.

For more articles like this, check out our other informative legal guides.

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