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The Importance of Documents and Paper Trails for a Personal Injury Claim

 Getting injured in an accident can be life altering. Even if you only suffered from a minor injury, you could feel residual pain for weeks or months to come. It could affect your work, recreation, and everyday life. At the same time, you could rack up lots of medical debt and lose money from not being able to work, along with many other consequences. That’s why you should learn about the importance of documents and paper trails for a personal injury claim. Then, you’ll be much more likely to get what you want and deserve from the insurance company.

When you get injured in an accident, we’re here for you. Riverside, California personal injury lawyers Heiting & Irwin have over four decades of experience assisting clients with personal injury. We have retrieved more than $400 million for our clients, and we’ll work hard to get you the result that’s rightfully yours.

Why Do You Need a Paper Trail for a PI Claim?

Getting an insurance company to settle for the amount you need to pay your bills and other damages is hard enough. They are known for not properly paying people – even if they were injured and it was not their fault. The insurance company will do everything in their power to get you to agree to a settlement that won’t be enough. And if you don’t have a paper trail to prove or support your side, it’s going to be that much more difficult to get the settlement that’s rightfully yours.

For example, let’s say you got injured in a car accident. However, all you did was exchange insurance information with the person who hit you. There was no evidence to show that they were responsible. And when you filed a claim, that person denied they did anything wrong. The insurance company could come to the same conclusion, and you may get a very small, or even no, settlement.

But, if you have evidence to prove your side of the story, you are much more likely to get a suitable settlement to cover your damages. And if you have an experienced personal injury lawyer on your side to help you, your chances of receiving a good settlement or result are going to be even higher.

Now, here’s some information on the documents and paper trail you will need for your case.

A Police Report: If you get injured in a car accident, know that police are usually there right away and generate a report. Make sure that you are honest about what happened and tell them about any injures you are suffering, even if they seem slight at the time, as a result of the accident.

A Premises Liability Report: If you were not in a car accident, but instead got injured in a store or on another’s property, then file a report with the store/property owner right after the accident happens.  Get a copy so you have a record of it.

Photographs of the Scene: If you are able, you should take photographs of the scene of the accident, whether you tripped over boxes in a store and injured yourself or you got into a car accident. If it was a car accident, snap photos of the other driver’s license plate too. In any type of accident, take photos of your visible injuries and damage to your belongings.

Videos of the Scene: Along with taking photographs, you can take some videos of the scene as well. Or, if that’s not possible, note the locations of cameras that may have captured what happened. This can include cameras on the property or traffic cameras. Nearby businesses may have captured what happened on tape, too.

Witness Statements: If there was anyone around who saw what happened, take down their witness information as well as contact information in case we need to follow up later on.

 Medical Record: As soon as you collect proof at the scene of the accident, make sure you go to the doctor for care. Then, follow their treatment plan, which may include taking medicine and going to more appointments. If you don’t have a medical record of your injuries, it’s going to be much harder to get a decent settlement.

 Notes About the Accident: Write down notes in a notebook or your phone as soon as the accident occurs as well as what you remember about it. This is going to come in handy when you’re trying to recall the facts later on. Additionally, keep records of any pain you’re experiencing and when you’re going to your doctors’ appointments. You should write down when you had to take off work or leave early to go to appointments as well.

Medical Bills: Collect your medical bills and records of payments you’ve made directly to a doctor or to your insurance. Your medical provider may store all the bills in an online portal.

Securing a Settlement You Deserve

By having the right documents and paper trail, you will help us to be well prepared to request a settlement from the insurance company. With the help of an experienced personal injury lawyer – who has excellent case results to back up their work – you can get the settlement that’s going to cover your damages: medical bills, future medical expectations, loss of earnings, loss of ability to earn at your highest capacity, and general damages, or pain and suffering. Then, you can focus on your healing during this difficult time.

Get in Touch With Heiting & Irwin for Help

If you were injured, then it’s time to hire a personal injury lawyer to help you file a claim. Heiting & Irwin are here for you. We have dealt with many personal injury cases and will work hard to get you the settlement that you deserve. Contact us online or call us at 951-682-6400 to start your case now.

The only past President of the State Bar of California ever elected from the Inland Empire, James Heiting handles civil litigation matters throughout California, recovering over $400 million for clients, dealing with wrongful death, serious injury, professional malpractice and transportation accidents. Also past President of Riverside’s County Bar, his firm has served the Inland Empire for over 30 years. View Attorney James Otto Heiting's Attorney Bio Here.

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