Tips for Organizing a Successful Injury Claim
Whether you’ve been involved in a motor vehicle accident or a slip and fall accident, your injury claim will require organization. Proper organization will allow your attorneys and the insurance companies to find all the information they need to make a decision about your case.
Filing a lawsuit can be stressful, especially if you’ve never had to do it before. Thankfully, with an experienced personal injury attorney on your side, you’ll be able to relax and recover while they worry about organizing your files and planning their negotiation strategies.
Almost everyone believes that they’ll never be in a situation like this, that they’ll never have to file a lawsuit—but that’s just not the truth. In fact, the car insurance industry estimates that the average driver will file a claim for a collision once every 17.9 years. That means that in your lifetime, you could experience three to four accidents. While many of these accidents are only small fender benders, you never know when an accident will result in a lawsuit.
Injury Claims Broken Down (Documents You’ll Need to Win Your Case)
Your personal injury attorney will have their own method for creating an effective case file. They will likely keep all of the documentation for your case either in a file folder or a binder. We encourage you to do the same. Make sure that wherever you keep this information, it’s secure. It will contain a lot of sensitive personal and financial material, so you’ll need to keep it safe.
By having a well-organized case file, you’ll be able to have any documentation on hand that you need when speaking to your attorney or insurance adjuster. When you have an organized file, you’ll also know immediately if you’re missing anything important, like a medical bill or statement of lost wages. You’ll be able to identify any gaps within your file, giving you the ability to fill them efficiently.
In this section, you’ll want to keep any copies of letters or notices that have been exchanged between you and the insurance company, the at-fault party, any businesses, and your (or any other involved) attorneys.
The correspondence section may include:
- Your demand letter
- Your notification letter to the at-fault party and their insurance company
- A letter of protection that was sent to medical providers
- Rights of reservation letter from the insurance company
- And all other correspondence
Medical Bills and Records
In this section, you’ll want to include all medical bills that you’ve received. That includes bills from the hospital, specialty doctors, primary care doctors, chiropractors, physical therapists, and any other health care provider that you’ve seen in reference to your injuries.
Because the amount that you receive as a settlement or from a trial win is based mostly on your medical debt, it’s important to fill out this section completely.
Don’t forget to include:
- Any bills for dental treatment required because of the accident
- Bills for mental health services
- Prescription medication receipts
- Medical device receipts
- Bills for replacement or renovation services
You’ll also want to make sure you include your medical records, which includes:
- Admitting charts
- Doctor’s notes
- Exam and test results
- Medical narratives
- Orders for further treatment (such as physical therapy or rehab)
- Progress notes from physical therapy or rehab
Whether you have a traumatic brain injury, spinal cord injury, or other life-changing injuries, this section will help to paint a picture of how your injuries have affected your life, how your treatment is going, and more.
In most cases, the only property damage you will incur will be to your vehicle. In this section, you’ll want to include any estimates from body shops and mechanics, towing receipts or bills, and rental car receipts.
If there were any damages to your clothing, eyeglasses, or cell phone, you should include those receipts here as well.
In this section, you’ll want to include the letter from your employer stating how much work you’ve missed, along with documents that verify how much your salary was and how much you’ve lost in wages.
Reports and Witness Statements
Contact information for all of the witnesses and copies of their statements should be kept here. You should also have a copy of your police report (if you were in a car accident) in this section. If you were injured in a slip and fall accident, you can request a copy of the incident report for your injury claim file.
Pictures and Videos
Using good quality paper, you’ll want to print out any pictures you took at the scene of the accident. Make sure to print them in full color so they’re easier to see and understand. On the back of each photograph, write the date, who took the picture, and what the picture shows.
Keep a digital file of all photos and videos you took and share it with your attorney.
A successful injury claim is supported by a lot of notes. Throughout the process, you should keep a notebook documenting how you’re feeling, how your treatment is going, and how your injuries are affecting your life. This part of your file should also include any notes you took the day of the accident, such as a statement that you wrote down for yourself.
How a Personal Injury Attorney Will Help You Keep Your Documents Organized
A personal injury attorney will not only help you organize your file. But they’ll also contact doctors, mechanics, and the police to ensure you have all of the documentation that you need.
A well-organized case file isn’t all you need to win your case. You’ll also need an experienced attorney that knows what they’re doing. At Jones Law Group, our attorneys have years of experience working on different types of personal injury claims. We’re ready to take on yours.