Immediately following any personal injury accident, it is important to document all of the particulars surrounding the event, as well as preserve any evidence that can support your claim. Time has a way of eroding these details if left to memory several weeks later, so write down the details at your first opportunity. If you are unable to preserve this evidence due to the extent of your injuries, obtain the help of a family member or friend.
Transport by ambulance or other emergency medical personal will create a good record of medical treatment related to the accident. However, if you were not taken by ambulance, be sure to follow up with your health care provider as soon as possible. This will insure formal documentation of your injuries by a third party. Be sure to photograph any visible injuries without delay, as they can change quickly over time.
Revisit the scene of the accident as soon as practical. In the case of an automobile accident, it would be helpful to visit the scene at the same time of day on the same day of the week as when the accident occurred. Make note of the traffic conditions, traffic controls and road conditions. Take photographs of the area for those who may not visit the scene in person.
In the case of a slip and fall or other liability type claim, return to the scene as soon as you are able. Repairs or improvements are typically made quickly to prevent further liability. In addition, other conditions can change rapidly such as icy or slippery walkways. If possible, photograph the areas, dangerous conditions or obstacles that caused the accident.
Identify any witnesses to the accident at the time of the accident particulaly those that were not included in a police report or when a police report was not prepared. They may have seen or heard things that escaped your attention. In addition, their testimony carries far more weight than yours in case there are disputed facts. You will want to contact witnesses promptly, as memories have a tendency to fade and people frequently move.
Continue to take notes as you recover. These notes can include the effects the accident has had on your daily life, as well as the pain and limitations you have had to face. You may also want to document your mood, including any anxiety or depression issues, and sleep disturbances.
Good record keeping will ease some of the stress you feel when working through a personal injury claim to its resolution. Taking the steps necessary to preserve evidence and document your injuries and damages is key to a successful outcome in your personal injury claim.
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