We all hope that we will never get into a car accident; however, the chances are better than you may think that you will be involved in one at some point in your life. Because most people don’t anticipate ever being a car accident victim, they typically don’t know how to document their injuries after the fact.
If you are injured in a car accident and the other driver is at fault, properly documenting your injuries can mean the difference between your lawyer’s securing for you the compensation to which you are entitled and receiving only a fraction of that to which you are entitled.
In the event that you ever do find yourself the victim of a car accident, take the following steps to help ensure that all of your expenses related to the accident, as well as your injuries, are compensated in their entirety.
- Have an immediate and thorough medical examination by a physician. People often make the mistake of declining transportation by ambulance and then not following up with an immediate examination on their own. Not only can this be dangerous in the event of any internal injuries that are not immediately apparent, but it also creates a less-than-perfect nexus between any injuries you suffered and the accident itself. By going directly to the hospital, it makes it easier for your attorney to prove that your injuries are indeed a direct result of the accident.
- Follow up with any recommended medical care. Again, this is not only a benefit to your own health, but also to your personal injury claim. If you follow up with all recommended tests and medical care, your healthcare providers will be able to submit a comprehensive report including all of your injuries, the care you received and your future prognosis–all of which will strengthen your claim. It also shows a potential jury that your injuries were important enough for you to take the time to have them treated properly.
- Keep detailed records. Although your medical care providers will provide the majority of your medical records, you should keep records such as repair estimates and bills for your vehicle, lost earnings records and records related to the medications you are prescribed. When in doubt, save it. Ultimately, your attorney can sift through your records and determine what is compensable and what is not.
- Keep a pain journal. A personal injury settlement or jury award can compensate you for both economic and non-economic damages. Non-economic damages are what most people think of as “pain and suffering.” This figure is subjective in nature and unique to the individual and the accident. By keeping a detailed journal of how the injuries you suffered have affected you, as well as the impact they have had on your job and your family life, you are in a much better position to demand a higher non-economic damages figure.
If you have recently been in a Washington State car accident and would like further information, contact the attorneys at the Mariano Morales Law at (509) 853-2222 for a detailed evaluation of your potential case.