The Personal Injury Paper Trail: A Checklist of Important Documents
There are reasons teachers tell us to take good notes. Notes and Documentation help us remember things that might slip our mind. They sometimes bring to mind important questions that we should ask. Often times they can be used to prove that something was said. In short, documentation helps us to be organized. It helps us take logical steps in getting from Point A to Point B. In a legal setting this is important. A personal injury or auto accident case must convince a judge or jury in an organized manner that an accident did, in fact, occur, that there were clear reasons that led to it, that qualified witnesses agree on what happened and what the consequences are and will be, and that certain expenses and costs can be attributed to the accident.
This written documentation of your accident, your resulting injury and damages is especially important in a personal injury setting. When meeting with your attorney it is important to bring all documentation related to your case. This will give him or her a better understanding of your personal injury case, of the consequences and costs that you will have to bear, and it will allow him to better plan his approach to your case.
Of course, this means that you should begin assembling the various pieces of documentation as soon as possible. Some of it may be generated without your requesting it such as invoices and bills and maybe even police reports, but some of it you may have to ask for or obtain yourself.
In many automobile accidents, especially if there is vehicular damage or injuries, police or other emergency services may be called to the scene. Copies of police reports detailing your damages or injuries are important. These first responders are qualified to list the facts of the accident and to ascertain as to whether or not there were injuries or damages, and, if so, to document them.
If the injuries you sustain necessitate a trip to the hospital or trauma unit, the hospital, doctor or therapy records are crucial pieces of documentation that your injury lawyer will utilize in presenting your case. It is important that you tell each medical provider you see for your injury how you were injured and all the pain and symptoms that have resulted from your injuries. They will then record these in their records which will help document your injury claim.
It usually isn’t long before bills from medical care and other service providers involved in your case begin rolling in. If you have health insurance or other healthcare coverage, you should make sure all your medical providers are provided with that information so that your medical bills will be submitted to your health insurance provider to get your bills paid as soon as possible. You should keep copies of all medical bills, prescription receipts, or Explanation of Benefits forms that are related to your medical expenses for your injuries from the accident. These are a form of documentation of the cost incurred by you to treat your injuries and otherwise deal with the repercussions of your accident.
It is also important to save any correspondence you engage in with your insurance company. Be sure to keep descriptions of any interactions you have with your insurance company as well as any claims that have been filed.
If you have any ongoing interactions with medical are professionals, be sure to keep any reports from doctors regarding your diagnosis and prognosis. Have you asked for or received any information about anticipated future medical costs? A doctor is a highly-qualified professional whose documented opinion mattes to your case.
It is very important to gather information regarding work you have missed as a result of your injury. Documentation that proves your income prior to your accident and any kind of job descriptions that clearly show a connection between your injury and your inability to perform work is very important to your case. You should keep all check stubs, pay vouchers, or direct deposit statements that show your income before and after the accident in order to prove your loss.
Lastly, keep any records such as bills resulting from repairs to your vehicle or any other expenses that have been directly related to your accident or injury.
Documentation helps give credibility and shape to your store and it allows your attorney and the court to be understand the degree to which your injury has impacted your life and the lives of those who depend upon you. Clear documentation is important to your case.
Questions About Your Case? Contact Boyne Injury Law.
Schedule a free initial consultation at our Belleville office or at a convenient location in Illinois and Missouri. Discuss your personal injury or workers’ compensation case with Kevin Boyne, a personal injury attorney conveniently located in Belleville, Illinois. Call (618)277-7770 or use our Contact Form.