Writing down the details after an accident is more accurate than relying on your memory.
One of the first things you should do after getting into an accident is to start taking notes. Immediately take notes about the specifics of the accident, the damage involved, and anything else you can remember that happened. After the accident it is also important to continually take notes about how the accident has affected your daily life. These details will inevitably become very useful months later when all the facts are put together into a final demand for compensation. Having notes right in front of you is much easier than trying to recall specifics about a traumatic event that happened potentially months in the past.
Get in the habit of taking notes throughout the entire claims process. Details about the event can come up at any time and you want to be prepared to catalog as much information as possible. Anything you think might affect your claim; write it down. Below are some specific topics on which you should take notes.
As soon as the initial shock of the accident has cleared start taking notes about the specifics of the accident and how it happened. Start with where you were going, who you were with, the time of day, weather conditions, and what you were doing. Include every detail of what you saw, heard, and felt- especially what happened to your body before, during, and after the accident, for example: any twists, blows, or shocks to your body. Also, remember to include anything you heard from a witness or a person involved in the accident say about the accident.
In the few days immediately following the accident it is of utmost importance to record any pains or discomfort the injury has caused you. These could be physical problems such as pains and discomfort, or mental trauma like anxiety, loss of sleep, or anything else that comes up as a result of the accident. It is important to write all the symptoms down while they are happening because it will be easier to reference back to your notes than trying to remember exactly how you felt months earlier.
Additionally, writing down all of your symptoms in detail will help a medical professional diagnose you better than you could yourself. A bump on the head might seem trivial to you, but to a doctor it could be the root of a diagnoses that comes up weeks later. Having all of these problems documented with a doctor will make them part of your medical record. A medical record can be used as evidence later and might even be required by the insurance company as proof of your injuries.
Economic or Other Losses
You may be entitled to compensation for economic loss and for family, social, educational, or other losses, as well as for pain and suffering. In order to qualify though you will need good documentation, begin making notes right after the accident about anything that you have had to miss as a result of your injuries: work hours, job opportunities, meetings, classes, events, family or social gatherings, vacation, or anything else that would have benefitted you but were forced to miss because of the accident.
Make written notes of the dates, time, and people involved of any conversation you have about the accident. This includes in-person or telephone calls specifically with a witness, adjuster, insurance representative, or medical personnel.
You may glean additional information by returning to the scene of the accident to take pictures or possibly even locate and talk to witnesses.
For more information on how to proceed after an accident contact us at (800) 272-LAWS (5297)
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