Getting your documents in order is the first step to maximizing your personal injury claim. Here are the specific documents you may need:
Photos of the Injury and Damage
One of the most important things during a personal injury claim is to prove that you are not lying or exaggerating your injuries. A good way to do this is to take pictures of the accident scene and your injuries and present them to the insurance adjuster or court. Pictures of torn clothing, bloody body, crashed windshield and skids marks will all do the trick.
Your Medical Records
Pictures of the injury and damage may be useful for showing how and where you were injured, but they don't carry the same weight as your medical treatment records. The treatment records will detail the extent of your injuries, the treatment you received, the drugs you took or are taking as well as your prognosis. They carry a lot of weight because your doctor is a neutral third party.
You should have your medical bills because it is the only way to prove that your treatment cost as much as you are claiming it cost. This is useful because the cost of your treatment is an integral part of your damages.
The Police Report
The police report isn't actually admissible evidence; it is considered hearsay because the police weren't actually there when the accident occurred. However, it does have some use and weight. For example, it contains the factual records of the accident such as the date of the accident, the prevailing weather and the time of the accident. It may also contain a preliminary determination of liability from the police's point of view, which does have some weight with insurance companies.
Invoices for Home Treatment
After an accident, you are likely to receive hospital treatment followed by some professional care at home. For example, you may enlist the services of a physiotherapist at home, a nutritionist, chiropractor or even a home nurse. The person responsible for your accident should pay for these expenses too.
Receipts and Bills for Expenses Associated With the Accident
If you were injured in an accident, you probably called different parties (your insurance company, a towing truck, and the police come to mind), took a cab, spent some time in a hotel or used a rental car. You may also need to install grab bars in your bathroom, buy a wheelchair or hire a domestic assistance to help with your normal chores. Keep the receipts for all these expenses and bills to strengthen your claim.
Injury and Treatment Journal
Most injury attorneys will advise you to keep an injury journal where you can document your injuries, treatment, and recovery progress. The journal will help to refresh your mind when pursuing your claim. It can also be used as evidence of your treatment progress or lack of it.