While taking notes is one of the last things on your mind after a traumatic experience, it is one of the most important things you can do to preserve important details to present a strong legal claim for your injuries. Documenting important facts and details, such as a timeline of events, will help make your case easier to resolve. It can be difficult to remember everything that happened in the coming months as you work with your attorney to prepare a personal injury claim.
It is also a good idea to make a habit of keeping notes concerning your injuries and the effect they have on your daily life. During the days, weeks or months of your recovery, it is also good to document what you are going through as a result of the accident. Keep a notebook and pen handy to jot down anything that might affect your legal claim. This will help jog your memory later when it’s necessary to recount what happened. Be sure to keep these notes together with other relevant documents about your accident.
If you have been injured in an accident, seek emergency help or medical treatment as soon as possible, even if your injuries do not think the injury is serious. You may be entitled to compensation for injuries and losses due to the negligence of the others, but your legal claim could be jeopardized if you delay medical treatment. Contact Johnson Attorneys Group at 800-248-6822 for a complimentary case review to determine your legal rights for compensation.
Information to Gather at the Scene of an Accident
The scene of a vehicle accident or workplace accident can be hectic and confusing. The critical moments after an accident should be used to assess your condition. Call 911 and make sure that you and others are no longer in harm's way. As soon as you are able, begin gathering information or ask for help from those around you to make sure no detail is lost. Focus on gathering the following information at the scene:
- Witness Information
Ask witnesses at the scene for information like where they were when the accident happened, what they saw and their contact information including name, phone number, and address. Do not assume that the responding officials will gather this information, especially if people start to leave before first responders arrive on the scene.
- Photographic Evidence
Photographic evidence taken directly after an accident can help determine liability in your personal injury claim. Enable the time/date stamp on your cell phone camera and take multiple photos of the accident scene from different angles. if you are involved in an auto accident be sure to get pictures of the vehicles involved, all traffic lights, traffic signs and their proximity to the accident. Try to snap pictures of everyone at the scene including first responders to help avoid confusion about the identities of those involved.
- Contact and Insurance Information
In the event of a car accident gather the other driver's contact and insurance information, including:
o First and Last Name
o Driver's License Number
o Home/Work/Cell Phone Number
o Vehicle License Plate Number
o Insurance Company Name
o Insurance Policy Number
o Insurance Company Phone Number
- Weather and Visibility Conditions
Document the details of the weather conditions during the accident. Try to be very descriptive about rain, snow, fog or sun glare and its effect on visibility at the time of the accident. If you have the opportunity, take photos of the sky and to capture the weather conditions, surrounding hazards like precipitation accumulation and the sun's position on the horizon.
- Document Your Injuries
Note the treatment you receive from first responders and be sure to follow-up with medical treatment if you are released on the scene. Keep an eye on out for new or worsening symptoms in the days following the accident, report them to your doctor and take note of any changes. Photos will help document graphic evidence of injuries like bruises, cuts, abrasions and more serious injuries such as broken bones.
Recount the Accident, Step-By-Step
Although you have probably given a statement to law enforcement, you need to take the time to recount the accident in detail as soon as you are able to. Try to include details of what you saw, what you heard and what you felt before, during and after the accident. Did the other driver or drivers admit fault? Begin by asking yourself these questions:
- What was I doing just before the accident?
- Where had I been and where was I going?
- Who was I with?
- What time was it?
- What was the weather like?
- Did anyone say anything to me before the accident?
- What was said during or after the accident?
*Keep a notebook and pen nearby at all times, in case you remember something that may prove relevant to your personal injury case.
Keep Daily Notes About Your Injuries
After the accident, keep daily notes of your injuries, pain and discomfort levels and how your injuries are affecting your life and the lives of those close to you. Be sure to document symptoms that are not visible like loss of sleep or anxiety. These notes will make things easier when you are asked to describe your injuries and the progress and setbacks of your recovery to your doctor, insurance companies and for your personal injury claim.
Log Phone Calls and Conversations
Keeping a written log for the flurry of phone calls and conversations you will have in the days and weeks following the accident with witnesses, law enforcement, medical personnel and insurance representatives. Be sure to note the date/time, the individual's name and phone number, the company or agency they represent and important details of the conversation.
Determine Economic or Other Losses
Itemize the reduction or loss of income resulting from the accident and the repercussions from your injuries on your ability to earn future income to support yourself and your family. If your injuries are the result of another person's negligence you will be eligible to file a personal injury claim to recover these economic losses and non-economic damages including pain and suffering and loss of consortium for those who depend on your income. Punitive damages may also be awarded if your injuries resulted from the intentional or reckless behavior of another person.
Seek Legal Help from an Experienced Personal Injury Attorney in California
If you have been injured in a car accident, in a workplace accident or as a result of the recklessness of another person, it is important to seek legal help in California from an experienced personal injury attorney. The compassionate and aggressive personal injury advocates with Johnson Attorneys Group understands that each case is unique, and we have the skill and resources to ensure you are awarded the maximum compensation possible. Contact Johnson Attorneys Group today at 1-800-208-3538 for your free case evaluation. We have won thousands of cases in California and will fight to help you win or successfully settle your case.