How to Take Notes After an Accident or Injury and Why One Should
Victims are often surprised at how quickly they can forget the important details about an accident. They usually struggle to remember things hours after it occurred. Therefore, it's impossible to rely only on a person's memory of the situation. Taking notes is often helpful right after the crash.
It's important to discuss the benefits of note-taking. A personal injury lawyer in Nashville will likely use that in the car accident case to successfully prove the other driver's negligence.
After being in an auto accident, it's crucial to build a strong personal injury case, and Schuerger Shunnarah Trial Attorneys can assist. Schedule a free consultation today by calling (833) 692-5038.
How Taking Notes Will Help a Lawyer with a Personal Injury Claim
The plaintiff (victim) generally has the burden of proof for a personal injury case. They must prove that another party is responsible for the damages and injuries caused by the accident.
There are many types of evidence that can help to prove the case. However, the victim's account of it all is crucial. Many times, it's incredibly easy to forget things afterward. Therefore, it's helpful to begin taking notes right after the incident happens to jog the memory and maintain detailed records that might be tough to remember later. Schuerger Shunnarah Trial Attorneys can provide guidance for preserving evidence for your personal injury claim.
Taking notes after an accident will also help the victim avoid contradictions. When they only rely on their memories, they might change the account of the crash. It's important to be consistent throughout the legal process, which will mean the statements are true and accurate. Otherwise, this affects the victim's credibility and offers the insurance company reasons to undervalue or deny the claim.
Describe How the Accident Occurred (Car Accident or Other)
When it is safe and possible, the victim should write down whatever they remember about the events leading to the accident. They could do that while waiting for the emergency responders to show up. If the injuries are severe, they might take detailed notes at the hospital once they are stabilized.
Here are the things to write down because they could be important later:
What the other driver was doing before the accident
What the victim was doing before the crash, such as moving through an intersection, making left/right turns, or waiting at the red light
What happened on impact, such as where the victim felt pain, how the body moved, and more
A list of other vehicles involved
Weather conditions at the time the accident occurred
Whether the vehicle was moved after the crash
The license plate number of the other parties
Where the accident happened
Whether or not the victim spoke to the other driver afterward
If there was light or heavy traffic
Describe the Injuries and How They Affected the Daily Life of the Victim
The primary goal of the car accident claim is to recover an appropriate amount of compensation to cover medical care. Taking notes will help to ensure the victim doesn't forget to mention all symptoms to the medical provider.
Likewise, they should take notes after the appointments to remember what they discussed and what the medical professional said. This will consistently supplement what's in the medical records.
When a victim takes notes, it creates a full record of the injuries, including limitations and physical pain. This is crucial because the notes may help the victim recover more compensation for things like non-economic damages, such as:
Pain and suffering
There's no official way to value non-economic damages. Therefore, a lawyer will rely on the records and medical treatment documented to account for those situations.
It's also crucial to document the critical details of the medical treatment. For example, the victim can explain how they responded to the treatments, whether the symptoms have improved or gotten worse, and whether they developed any other symptoms.
Notes about the treatment indicate that the victim is taking everything seriously. This will make it harder for the insurance company to argue that the problems aren't a big deal.
Describe Economic Losses and Anything Else
Victims might be entitled to other compensation, such as for missed events, economic loss, and pain and suffering. They'll require good documentation for those financial losses. Start making notes right after the accident about what was lost and the injuries. These include:
Meetings and classes
Events, such as social or family gatherings
Anything else the victim would have benefitted from or could have enjoyed if they hadn't been injured
Summarize All Conversations with Witnesses, the Insurance Company, and Others
Keep written notes of the times, dates, people involved, and content of all conversations about the injury claim or accident. This includes telephone or in-person conversations with witnesses, insurance representatives or adjusters, and medical personnel.
Keep Track of Everything
The victim should protect themselves by documenting all contact they have with others during the claims process. Have a contact information page that includes the:
Insurance claim number
Claim adjuster's name and phone number
Insurance policy number
Insurance company's name/phone number
Make note of the date and time for each contact one had with the company, even when only leaving a message. The contact notes must include:
Who the victim spoke to
Who started the call
A list of records asked for
The content of the conversation
Settlement amounts discussed
Other relevant information
Track Settlement Negotiations
Once it gets to the settlement and negotiations part, the victim should keep records of all settlement discussions. This should include information provided over the phone or in person, counteroffers, written offers, and more. These things will likely be crucial if one has to go to a lawyer to get fair compensation. Schuerger Shunnarah Trial Attorneys can also answer questions such as how do ndas work in personal injury lawsuit settlements?
Next Steps to Take After a Car Accident
It's often wise to return to the incident scene to take notes after an accident or injury. Likewise, victims should find and speak with witnesses who might help with the case.
Personal injury claims are often hard to go through alone, so it might be wise to seek legal assistance. Hiring a personal injury attorney is the best solution. Before entering into an attorney-client relationship with Schuerger Shunnarah Trial Attorneys, it's wise to call and request a free consultation.