What documents to retrieve for a personal injury case

What documents to retrieve for a personal injury case

Is your client in the United States seeking compensation for getting injured as a result of someone else’s negligence or intentional act? If so, then your law firm needs to make sure that you have the proper documentary evidence to support your client’s claim.

documents to prepare for personal injury case

Below is a checklist of paperwork you need to file a personal injury case on behalf of your client.

Background information

Gather as much paperwork that describes the incident in question and how your client was harmed.

  • Incident reports

Retrieve the reports made by the law enforcement or emergency services groups that responded to the scene of the incident. If those groups have a special division that made an accident reconstruction report, or their partner laboratory or agencies prepared supplementary reports, make sure to obtain those as well.

If your client, their insurance, or another party involved in the incident hired a private investigator for the case, retrieve a copy of their report too.

  • Photo, video, or audio documentation of the incident, injury, and other damages

Photographs and audio or video recordings of the scene of the incident can shed light on what really happened, the identity of the people involved, and the condition of the surroundings when the injury happened, which may help establish liability. You may use surveillance footage of nearby security cameras, 911 dispatch call recordings, or photos captured on smartphones of the people at the scene.

Make sure to include photos or videos that show the nature and severity of your client’s injury shortly after the event and as it heals over time.

If your client’s property, such as their car, was also damaged, include documentation of that as well.

  • Victim and witness statements

Photographs and audio or video recordings of the scene of the incident can shed light on what really happened, the identity of the people involved, and the condition of the surroundings when the injury happened, which may help establish liability. You may use surveillance footage of nearby security cameras, 911 dispatch call recordings, or photos captured on smartphones of the people at the scene.

  • Medical records

These records should include all diagnostic tests and medical procedures that your client undertook during the initial examination and succeeding checkups. Make sure that these include doctors’ written notes on their findings regarding the cause, severity, and prognosis of your client's injury, as well as all of the doctors' written prescriptions for short- and long-term term treatments.

If your client has pre-existing medical conditions that may have been aggravated by the accident, you may also include your client’s medical records that pertain to these medical conditions.

As a law firm, you may obtain a HIPAA authorization to get your client’s medical records on their behalf. To guide you, here are tips on retrieving medical records.

Financial information

Gather as much paperwork that describes the incident in question and how your client was harmed.

  • Medical-related expenses

Aside from medical bills, collect proof of other expenses such as receipts for medical supplies and equipment, over-the-counter medication, and prescription medicines.

  • Insurance documentation

Gather all paperwork related to your client’s health and disability insurance, including any communication with their insurance company.

If, for example, your client’s car was also damaged because of the accident, then retrieve your client’s automobile insurance policy as well.

  • Evidence of lost potential income

If your client’s injury from the accident has caused them to miss work or become entirely unemployable, you must ask for compensation for lost potential income. To compute for this amount, compile all of your client’s pay stubs, W-2 forms, or any records that show their pay before the injury.

  • Other incurred expenses resulting from the injury and/or property damage

If because of the injury your client had to incur other costs such as flying in a relative to care for them or hiring someone to handle household chores, then you need to retrieve records of those expenses, too.

If the incident also involved property damage, then include proof of repair or replacement costs as well.

Other information

Retrieve all other paperwork that you think may strengthen your case.

  • Research on relevant past information

Include all inspection, safety, accident, or other relevant reports for any element involved in the incident.

For example, if your client was injured in the workplace, there might have been similar incident reports in the past that could prove which party or parties were responsible for the injury.

In a car accident, the vehicle’s manufacturer could be at fault if an inspection report shows that the car should have been recalled.

The more documentary evidence you supply when filing a personal injury claim, the more likely your client will win the case. To help you easily obtain these papers, use Record Retrieval Solutions’ online ordering and tracking system. Get in touch with us today to get started.

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