How to Document Your Injuries for a Personal Injury Claim

Accidents can happen anywhere to virtually anyone and at any time. The aftermath may include pain, serious physical injury, anxiety, and emotional distress, not to mention mounting medical bills. To receive fair compensation for the injuries sustained, you need to file a claim, which typically requires proper documentation of your injuries.

Having the right documentation could be the difference between receiving a fair settlement for your claim and getting nothing at all. The specific documentation you need depends on the facts surrounding your claim. It’s important to work with an experienced personal injury attorney who can help you determine your specific needs.

In this guide, you will learn how to document your injuries for a personal injury claim to help strengthen your personal injury claim and protect your rights. Our personal injury centers specialize in pain management of our patients and helping them to recover from a debilitating personal injury.

Personal Injury Documentation Checklist

You need to provide adequate documentation related to your injuries and the damages you suffered in the accident. Documentation essentially helps to prove your case – it lets you prove how you were affected by the accident and your financial status. It also helps to refresh your memory of what went on following the accident.

There are several documents you need to obtain and include in your case as outlined below:

  • Police reports
  • Witness statements
  • Reports from accident reconstruction experts and private investigators
  • Initial medical examination
  • Payroll records
  • A personal journal of events, including a treatment journal
  • Reports from medical specialists
  • Test results
  • Photographs of the scene of the accident, injuries, and property damage
  • Medical bills, insurance cards, and receipts of payment
  • Communication with the insurance company

As a rule of thumb, you should keep all records and documentation related to the accident and the treatment of your injuries. Even if something might come across as unimportant, keep it well, just in case.

With this documentation, your lawyer will be able to build a strong case on your behalf. The documents will provide a full picture of the kind of evidence you have, along with the strengths and weaknesses of your case.

How to Document Your Injuries

Keeping organized and pertinent documentation of your injuries, communications with authorities and insurance, and any type of evidence that can be helpful for your case is paramount to winning. Remember, it’s better to save more than you need than to not have enough supporting evidence.

The following are a few examples of things to document and save:

Seek immediate medical attention

The first step to documenting your injuries is seeking medical attention as soon as possible. It’s important to get a thorough medical examination from a qualified health professional, even if the injuries seem minor. Foregoing or delaying medical treatment will work against you in two ways – you risk worsening your injuries and you make it difficult to document your claim.

Take photos or videos of your injuries

Visual evidence is powerful when it comes to documenting your injuries. Consider using your smartphone camera to take photos of your injuries, including bruises, cuts, and swelling as soon as possible. Be sure to capture the injuries at multiple angles and how these progress over time. This can help prove the extent and severity of your injuries.

Keep an injury journal

Along with the photos, or if you’re unable to take pictures, keep a journal that documents the progression of your injuries and the kind of impact they have on your daily life. Note the time, date, and exact location of the accident. Describe the circumstances that led to the accident.

You could also record your daily symptoms, pain levels, and any changes to your physical and psychological well-being. Document all the medical treatments you receive, including any medications prescribed and therapies received. Be honest and detailed in your journaling since they can be used to determine the extent of your suffering.

Law enforcement reports

If the police came to the accident scene, they most likely made a report. You can obtain a copy of this report, and it can be a good place to start building your case.

It’s worth noting that the officers who respond to the scene of the accident are important to building your case. They will collect evidence at the scene of the accident and collect witness information. Your lawyer can use this information and even pursue new leads to collect more evidence for your case.

Preserve all insurance communications

In the aftermath of a personal injury, diligent preservation of all insurance-related communication is paramount. The significance of maintaining records of conversations with insurance companies cannot be overstated.

From initial contact to negotiations, every email, letter, or verbal exchange can serve as valuable evidence in supporting your claim. While saving written or text communications can be easy, saving verbal communications aren’t as much. In this case, write down the date of the communication, who you spoke with, and bullet points of everything that was said.

By meticulously organizing and archiving insurance-related correspondences, you not only bolster your claim’s credibility but also equip yourself with a powerful tool for achieving optimal compensation.

Save all the medical records and bills

Along with journaling your injuries, it’s important to keep all your medical bills and records associated with your treatment. This includes hospital bills, pharmacy receipts, physician invoices, and bills for specialist treatment, including rehabilitation or physical therapy.

Such documents can be vital evidence for your claim since they show the nature and extent of injuries you suffered in the accident, as well as their financial impact.

Witness statements

If there were any witnesses at the scene of the accident, you should request their contact information and ask if they would be willing to provide a statement about what they saw. Witness statements ideally collaborate your account of the accident, with details that strengthen your case.

Follow the medical treatment and recommendations

To help you recover quicker and strengthen your claim, you should follow all the medical recommendations and treatment plans given by your medical team. Failure to do so could allow the defendant to argue that since you aren’t taking your treatment seriously, your injuries are not as serious as you claim.

All in all, documenting your accident and your injuries accurately, timely, and thoroughly helps to strengthen your personal injury claim and paves the way for fair compensation for the injuries sustained.

Get the proper care you need and deserve

At Chicago Personal Injury Centers, our team of medical professionals is committed to helping people who have suffered serious injuries in accidents access the care and treatment they need to make a full recovery.

We know that this can be a scary and overwhelming time for you, and we want to help you navigate this with the highest levels of care and respect. Call us today at (773) 482-5800 to learn more about how we can help.