How to Document Your Injuries for a Personal Injury Lawsuit
When entering into a personal injury case, every detail is important. In the moment of an accident or an injury, fear can make it difficult to know the next best steps. The most important factor in many cases is acquiring evidence after the fact. Over the course of a personal injury lawsuit, your testimony can have some effect on the outcome, but having medical documentation is also crucial to its success.
Seek Medical Attention as Soon as Possible
The best way to document your injuries is to seek professional medical attention as soon as possible after an injury. Doctors must document injuries and create an official report. This report will stay in your medical file for anyone who needs to view the details. Even if you think your injuries are not severe enough to warrant medical attention, your doctor can provide a baseline for injuries that may appear later down the road and will document any current injuries. If you do not get medical attention right away but need it in the future, the cause of your symptoms will be unclear, leaving room for the other party’s attorney to say the injuries were not related to the incident in question.
Always obtain a copy of the official report for your own records. Once you have the report in hand, you will be able to make copies for anyone who needs them during the lawsuit, saving you time and money.
Create a File
All documentation you receive needs to go in one file. Dedicate a binder or a folder to the cause and put all documentation, no matter how big or small, in this system. If you choose a binder, you can add divider tabs to create sections of documents for even easier access. Take this file with you to all appointments with your legal team to avoid any confusion. It can be a shock how much paperwork happens in the case of a personal injury suit.
Keep All Receipts
Ask for a receipt for any expenses relating to your injury. Everything from a box of bandages at the drugstore to the bill for surgery should be in your file with all the other communications. Once filed, personal injury lawyers will add up the total cost of your injury and treatment to create a settlement amount.
As soon as you are able, take photographs of your injury and the scene of the accident. If you are not able, have a friend or family member take them for you. If you’ve been in a Kansas City car accident and can do so, take pictures of the scene, too, as a way to explain how you received the injuries. It is best if you can get photos before and after treatment, but sometimes this is not always possible. It also helps to take photos during the healing process to show how long the injury has affected your life. Timestamp the photos with the date and time for clear referencing. If you don’t know how to get a timestamp on your smartphone camera, several free apps are available for iPhone and Android. Try Timestamp or DateStamper. Be sure to have hard copies and digital copies available.
Keep a Journal or Diary
Immediately following the injury, keep a journal of your injuries, your pain levels, your feelings, and anything else related to the injury. Record doctors’ visits, time lost from work, and how the injury is affecting your life. Any sleepless nights, nightmares, anxiety attacks, and other mental health symptoms are important to note for documentation. Some physicians might disregard these types of claims but having a clear record can work to your favor in court.
Collecting these pieces of documentation will make your personal injury lawsuit move quickly and easily through the process. If you were a victim due to another’s negligent actions in Kansas City, contact the Kansas City personal injury attorneys at Wendt Law Firm P.C. today by calling (866) 539-4415 or submitting an online form.
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