If you have been the victim of another person's negligence and are considering filing a personal injury claim, don't rely on your memory to help your case. While the at-fault driver's insurance company may compensate you for your vehicle and medical expenses, you can only seek pain and suffering damages through a personal injury claim, and your memory of this traumatic event may not be reliable enough without some help. Personal injury cases can drag on for months in some cases, increasing the possibility that important details could be forgotten and lost. Since your compensation amount could depend on important events about your accident, it's in your best interest to take steps to preserve your memories while you still can. Read on for some helpful memory aids to support your personal injury case.
The Day of the Accident
As soon as possible after the accident, begin to record a narrative of the events of that day. You can make use of a journal or notebook or even a tablet or smartphone to recall your memories. It's not uncommon for your memories of such a traumatic event to come and go, or to only come to you several weeks after the accident. Make sure you capture these memories by keeping something to record them with you at all times.
Try to organize your notes using your memories of these events:
1. Your destination, your passengers, the route you were taking, the weather conditions, the time and location of the sun.
2. The time period immediately prior to the crash, particularly anything you remember about your speed and actions and the actions of the other involved driver or other vehicles.
3. The moment of impact and how it felt. For example, the jolt of impact, the airbag inflating, the sounds of glass breaking, etc.
After the Accident
- Try to remember and note what happened immediately after the wreck. Did you need to be extracted from your vehicle, or were you able to exit without assistance?
- What, if anything, do you recall the other driver saying about the accident? It's vital to recall whether or not they admitted to being in the wrong.
- What you remember about the actions of first responders, including rescue, fire, medical personnel and police officers.
Injuries and Medical Treatment
1. Hospitalization, surgeries, tests, medications, procedures, and physical therapy as a result of the accident.
2. The prognosis of continuing medical treatment. For example, your doctor's opinion on how long you must continue physical therapy or the need for future surgeries.
3. The emotional effect on you and your family, especially changes in sleeping and eating habits, depression, moodiness and anxiety. This part of your notes is key to getting properly compensated for pain and suffering.
Job Related Losses
- Keep up with all lost hours and pay from work. Make sure to note when you had to use sick leave or vacation days for recuperation or medical appointments.
- Note any lost educational or training opportunities lost as well as missed career advances as a result of the accident.
Once you contact a personal injury attorney, such as Greg S. Memovich, your careful note-taking will pay off in the form of a complete and convincing demand letter, which can lead to an immediate offer to settle. Every detail of your accident is important, so use the tips above to put together a narrative that will assist your attorney in winning your personal injury claim.