When filing a personal injury case, it’s important to gather the different types of evidence you need to support your case before filing. Being properly prepared can increase your chances of getting the outcome that you want. Your attorney will be able to help you better if they have every piece of evidence that is related to your case. You should collect all your documents, if possible, before meeting with your attorney. Here are the most common types of evidence that you will need to support your case:
When meeting with a lawyer, one of the most important things to bring is your insurance information that pertains to your accident. Bring your car insurance if you were in a car accident and all of your medical insurance information. Your lawyer will most likely be contacting your insurance company, meaning that you must sign paperwork giving your lawyer the right to contact them for you.
Police Records & Witness Statements
Having official records from the police is going to be crucial to making sure your lawyer has all the facts of the case. Police records are public records and should be available to you once they are completed. There could be more than one police report or even a report from a specific division, so it’s important thoroughly look into this. If the fire department came to the scene, make sure to get their report as well. If your accident occurred at a business, they may have made an incident report that you could obtain too. Recordings of any 911 calls made to the scene would also be helpful as they can provide details about the accident and can portray the emotions of the caller. A witness is anyone who saw what happened and it could be anyone from friends and family who were present, to a stranger who saw the accident on the street. It is important that they write down what they saw to create a thorough record of the important details early on before memories fade or things become confused. Details from a witness can also help you to remember details when creating your own version of the story.
Bring any information pertaining to your medical records that you have available to you. Medical documentation includes anything relevant from a doctor or hospital from before, during, or after your accident. Your attorney might be able to gain access to records that you are unable to get in order to better build your case, but it’s important to collect everything possible to show your lawyer. Keep your emergency room and hospital records, any medical bills and any receipts and records. These should have the specific amount of money spent as well.
It may also be helpful to ask your primary care physician for your clean bill of health pre-accident to show that you did in fact receive injuries from your accident, just in case that comes into question. Your attorney will not only need your medical bills for reimbursement but your medical records in order to come to an appropriate justifiable sum of money for pain and suffering.
“If you have experienced physical injuries, you should keep a journal throughout your recovery to document how you feel each day and your pain levels, photographs of healing injuries and any medical appointments,” explains Attorney Matthew Lott of the Lott Law Firm.
This journal could be used by your lawyer to explain how your injuries have impacted your daily life and resulted in physical, mental and emotional suffering. These accounts could go beyond just the proof of medical bills to display how drastically your life has changed since your accident.
Physical Evidence & Scene Documentation
Any and all physical evidence is generally essential in these cases. This includes any photos you’ve taken of your injuries, property damage or any type of damages incurred. You can even take pictures throughout your recovery process to show how your injuries have impacted your daily life. Documenting the accident scene through photos and diagrams can be particularly helpful. Even if you think that the physical evidence you have won’t be helpful, it’s important to bring it to your lawyer anyways. A dent in your car, a piece of fabric, damaged clothing or anything that shows harm can be helpful. If your case goes to court, physical evidence often helps to sway the jury. You can return to the scene of your accident to look around and take more pictures from different angles. You may even notice something you didn’t notice before, such as a broken traffic light.
If you’ve missed work, had to change jobs or faced any work related repercussions due to your accident, collecting all of your employment records and work related information will be important. You may be able to get workers compensation if you missed hours due to injury. Ask your employer to document your missed days and hours and get that information to your lawyer. It is also important to get a note from your doctor stating that you are unable to work due to your injuries that specifically details the length of time that you must miss work. Wage records could also help ensure that you get paid the proper amount for the time your missed.
If you have been the victim of a personal injury accident, now is the time to reach out to an experienced attorney who could help you through the process and ensure that you receive appropriate compensation. Bringing all of these important documents to your attorney could help jump start your case with the best chance of a good outcome.