Every year emergency rooms around America receive around 130 million visits. A large number of these visits are a result of accidental injuries, which can have serious consequences for the patients involved.
Even if you are fortunate enough to walk away from an accident, you may have to take time off work to recover both physically and emotionally. In fact, every year in the US financial losses as a result of personal injuries cost nearly $671 billion.
So what if your injuries were caused by someone else? Well, then you may be able to make a personal injury claim. This involves making a claim against your insurance policies or someone who can be held responsible for your injuries.
If you are going to make a successful claim it’s important to get an experienced lawyer on your side. In that case, they will need a copy of several personal injury documents to build your case.
Not sure what documents to bring to your lawyer’s office? Then you’re in the right place! Read on to find out all of the personal injury documents that your lawyer will need.
What Do Personal Injury Lawyers Do?
Personal injury lawyers are experts in building personal injury cases. They can help whether you want to sue an individual or make an insurance claim.
They have specialist knowledge of personal injury law. This means that they will be able to evaluate your accident from a legal perspective. From this, they will be able to determine whether you can make a successful compensation claim and the best way to do this.
Most personal injury lawyers will cover a range of different accident areas, including:
- Workers compensation claims
- Auto accident claims
- Medical negligence and wrongful death suits
- Slip and fall accidents
They may also offer specialist expertise in different types of injuries, such as head or neck injuries. American law is extremely broad, so getting support from a lawyer with specific experience makes all the difference to your case.
For example, if you’d been arrested for drunk driving, you’d look for DUI lawyers in Georgia. Similarly, with personal injury cases, you should look for a personal injury lawyer to help you out.
How Can a Lawyer Help You With Your Compensation Claims?
Of course, you can technically file a personal injury claim without the help of a lawyer. However, there are lots of benefits to hiring a lawyer for personal injury claims.
Lawyers’ expertise helps to speed up the legal process of making a claim, which means you’ll spend less on legal fees and get a verdict on your case quickly. They also help to keep your personal injury claim out of court, which can be an expensive process.
On top of this, your lawyer will be able to secure you the best possible settlement for your case. So when it comes to the financial side of things, hiring a lawyer is a no-brainer.
Personal injury lawyers will also take the strain off you during your case. They will:
- Collect evidence to support your claim
- Meet all of the legal deadlines required
- Represent your voice and your requests in legal meetings
- Help you get support from expert witnesses
- Regularly update you on the progress of your case
- Ensure that your claim is submitted before the Statute of Limitations runs out
This means that while your case is ongoing you can focus your energy on recovering and getting your life back on track.
Increasing Your Chances of Success With the Help of a Lawyer
It is important to note that not all personal injury claims will be successful. Getting support from a lawyer gives your case the best chance of success.
If a lawyer doesn’t think you have a strong case when they first evaluate it, they will be upfront about this. This can save you from spending a lot of money on an unsuccessful claim. So it is always a good idea to get legal advice before making a claim.
Fortunately for you, there are currently more than 51,000 law firms across America that handle personal injury cases. Not sure how to pick the best personal injury lawyer for your case? Then check out these ten traits to look for in a personal injury lawyer.
No matter who you choose, if you are going to make the most of all the benefits that personal injury lawyers have to offer, you need to get organized. To help them build a case for you, you need to provide certain important information and documents to your lawyer.
These provide solid evidence for your personal injury case. They also help your lawyer build an accurate picture of what happened during your accident. With that in mind, let’s take a look at what you need to bring to your lawyer’s meetings.
Information About the Accident
There are a huge number of accidents that can result in personal injuries. Because of this, it is important to provide your lawyers with as much information as possible about yours.
This should include:
- The date and time of your accident
- Where it took place
- The type of accident (for example, workplace, road accident, or slip and trip accident)
- The names and contact details of everyone involved in the accident
- The names and contact details of anyone who witnessed or attended your accident (such as the police)
If you aren’t sure what type of accident you have had, don’t worry about this. Once you have described the incident to a lawyer they will be able to categorize it for you.
When you suffer a personal injury, it is very important that you officially report the accident. This doesn’t just protect other people from similar accidents. It also creates legal proof that your accident took place.
Accident reports cover the basic information about an accident, along with a more detailed account of exactly what happened.
If you are in a public space then you should contact the emergency services, usually the police. If your accident takes place at work then you should log this with your health and safety team or manager.
Your lawyer will want to see a copy of the official accident report. They will also want to know who filed the report and what their contact details are.
Your Insurance Policies
Your insurance policies may allow you to make a claim for your personal injuries. However, to make sure of this, your lawyer will need to look through them.
Depending on how you sustained your injury, your lawyer may ask to see a copy of your:
- Auto insurance policy
- Home insurance or renter’s policy
- Medical insurance policy
- Disability, veterans insurance, and social security policies (if you have them)
Your copy of these policies should include full details of your declarations, coverage, and policy limits. If you do not already have a copy of your insurance policy, you should be able to ask your insurance provider to send one over.
Statements from witnesses are extremely important when it comes to building a personal injury case. They count as independent testimony, which helps your lawyers build a picture of what happened. More importantly, they can be used as evidence to support your claim.
Witness statements can surround the events of your accident itself. You can also get witness statements to provide information on things that might have contributed to your accident. This might include:
- Accounts of maintenance prior to your accident
- Information about the responsible party’s health or mental state prior to your accident
- Accounts of other similar accidents in the area where yours occurred
Each statement needs to be provided as a written document and signed by the witness. You can write up a witness statement from a voice recording. However, the witness will still need to read the document and sign it to show that the statement reflects their account of events.
If your case does go to trial, then these witnesses may be called to provide further evidence about your accident. So it is important that any witnesses you speak are happy for you to use their statements in a legal case.
Evidence of Your Accident
Witness statements are not the only things you can use as evidence to support your case. Photos and videos of the accident are also extremely valuable to your lawyers. These are especially helpful as it is difficult to dispute photographic evidence of an accident.
You can use photos or videos taken by passers-by, recorded on dashcams, or collected by CCTV cameras in the area. If there are any private security cameras in the area where your accident took place then it’s a good idea to ask to see this footage as well.
Photo evidence of damage caused during your accident can also help you make a strong case. For example, if you have been involved in an auto accident, make sure you give your lawyer photos of the damage caused to your vehicle. Photographs of injuries and property damage are vital evidence for any personal injury case.
Your lawyers can help you to collect photographic and video evidence of your case as they build it, so you don’t need to do this alone. However, if you already have any photos or videos to hand make sure you bring these with you. They will certainly be helpful for your lawyer.
Correspondence About Your Accident
If you have been in touch with your insurer or another party involved in your accident, then make sure you provide a copy of this correspondence to your lawyer.
This could be in the form of email chains or text messages. If you do have any phone calls with your insurer or someone else involved in your accident, make sure that you record these.
In some states, it is illegal to record phone calls without the consent of everyone involved. So make sure that you inform the person you’re speaking to that you are going to record the conversation. If they do not want you to record the call, reschedule it until after you have sought legal advice.
Medical reports provide detailed and expert accounts of any injuries that you sustained in your accident. This includes the treatment you received and any recommendations for your recovery period. So make sure you get a copy of your medical report before speaking to a lawyer.
They will also want to know:
- The names of the doctors and nurses who treated you
- Which hospital, GP, or emergency department you received treatment at
- The name and address of the ambulance service you used
- The dates that you were admitted to the hospital
- Any referrals and treatments you received after your accident
Your regular doctor should be able to provide a copy of your medical history. You can also obtain a copy from the hospital where you received treatment for your injuries.
Bills and Receipts Accrued as a Result of Your Accident
A personal injury settlement can, of course, compensate you for the emotional trauma of an accident. However, it can also help you claim back some of the financial losses caused by an accident.
In order to make a claim for financial damages, you will need to provide proof of them. This can include:
- Medical bills
- Receipts for equipment you’ve had to buy to support your recovery
- Receipts for repairs you’ve had to take out as the result of your accident (such as car repairs)
- Receipts demonstrating the cost of items irreparably damaged during your accident
- Loss of earnings resulting from time taken off work for your recovery
Once your lawyer has these, they will be able to ensure your settlement definitely covers the financial cost of your accident.
Get Help With Your Personal Injury Documents Today
If you want to make successful compensation claims for your injuries, then it’s very important to get help from an experienced lawyer. Providing them with all of your personal injury documents will help to speed up the process of making your claim. So try to get your hands on these before your first meeting.
Ready to start building your personal injury case? Then get in touch today for a free evaluation — we’re happy to help.