When you are hurt due to the negligence of another person, you have the right to file a personal injury claim and recover compensation for your losses. There are many types of personal injury cases, including those related to motor vehicle crashes, dog bites, slip-and-fall accidents, and other circumstances.
Insurance companies are generally responsible for compensating injury victims in these situations. Unfortunately, insurance agencies rarely provide victims with fair settlement offers. In order to recover the compensation necessary to cope with the comprehensive effects of an injury, it is often necessary for victims to work with a personal injury lawyer.
In this post, the experienced personal injury attorneys in Cincinnati at Young, Reverman & Mazzei discuss how victims can help prepare for a personal injury case to maximize their financial recovery.
Save All Medical Documentation
It’s always a good idea for injury victims to seek medical attention immediately following the incident, even if the injuries don’t seem severe. After a traumatic event such as a car accident, it may take days or even weeks for some injury symptoms to become apparent.
When you visit the doctor or hospital, it’s crucial to keep all associated records of your visit and corresponding treatment. These records will detail the damages you’ve sustained due to the injury and serve as evidence.
You’ll also need to closely follow any orders given by the doctor. If you do not abide by the doctor’s prescribed treatment plan, the insurer could argue that you did not mitigate or prevent further injury, which will harm your claim.
It’s especially important to hold onto the following types of medical documentation:
- Hospital records
- Medical bills
- Receipts for payments of medical bills, including prescription medications
- Physical therapy documentation
- Psychological treatment documentation
Keep track of the doctors you visit as well as their contact information. You can also take notes of what they say about your condition.
Track Related Out-of-Pocket Expenses
The cost of ongoing medical care is one of the most difficult aspects of coping with a personal injury, and many victims are left paying for expensive medical care out-of-pocket, including the costs associated with travel for treatment or rehabilitation.
You can help your case by saving receipts for any related medical supplies, home modifications, and travel expenses. You should also keep payment records for medical devices such as crutches, wheelchairs, or shower chairs.
Keep a Journal
When pursuing a personal injury claim, it is the victim’s responsibility to demonstrate the effects of the injury on his or her daily life.
One way to do this is to maintain a journal throughout your treatment and rehabilitation. Track the progress of your treatment and how you feel each day. Detail how your injury impacts your day-to-day life.
Save Payroll Information
If your injury caused you to miss work, you will need to prove lost earnings as part of your personal injury claim.
Gather previous pay stubs that show your salary or wage information. If this documentation is not readily available, your attorney can help you request the necessary paperwork from your employer. Log the amount of time you are unable to work.
Take Photos and/or Video
Document as much about your injury and the circumstances that caused it as possible. Take photos and/or video of your injury, as well as the incident scene and any other related damages (such as damage to physical property).
Continue to document your progress as you recover. Make sure you note the date of your photos and/or video.
Keep Documentation to Support Your Claim
In addition to medical records, keep any other official documentation that may support your claim.
This documentation may include law enforcement reports about the incident. Police reports are a great place to begin building a personal injury case, and they can be instrumental in establishing liability. If there were witnesses to your injury incident, gather their contact information and keep any law enforcement-provided witness statements.
Don’t Post About the Incident on Social Media
When you’re involved in a personal injury case, social media can hurt your claim. You might say something that calls the facts of the case into doubt or post something that the insurance company could use to make you look bad in court.
As a general rule, don’t post photos, videos, or messages that would allow insurance companies or opposing attorneys to diminish your injury claim. This includes your story of the accident or referencing the personal injury case’s proceedings.
Most personal injury attorneys advise their clients to completely avoid social media for the duration of their case. If you absolutely must use social media, do not share anything personal, even something as benign as vacation photos or trips to the park. Insurance companies have been known to use these posts to discredit personal injury claims.
Be Honest With Your Attorney
When you hire a personal injury attorney, the most important thing is the trust and communication between both parties. Communication between you and your attorney should be consistent, transparent, and open.
For example, tell your attorney about any previous accident injuries you suffered. The insurance company may attempt to deny the claim might say that your current injuries are related to past injuries or accidents, so your lawyer will need that information to be able to dispute their accusations.
The attorneys at Young, Reverman & Mazzei are dedicated to helping injury victims from the greater Cincinnati area, including those in eastern Indiana and northern Kentucky. If you or a loved one was hurt due to another’s negligence, please call us today at 800-721-1678 or contact us online for a free consultation.
For a complete list of our Ohio, Indiana and Kentucky offices, please see our locations page.