INJURY BLOG
What documents do you need to file a personal injury claim, and how to file them?

Kim Welch Law March 13, 2021

organized filesFor a Stronger Personal Injury Case in Colorado Springs or Las Vegas, Get Organized

A personal injury claim will live and die by the strength of its evidence. A well-supported claim is much stronger than one with little evidence or poorly organized.

To help your personal injury attorney make an effective claim against an insurance company, putting together strong evidence is an incredibly helpful tool. If you’ve been in an accident in either Colorado Springs or Las Vegas, here are our tips for preparing the evidence you need to support your claim.

Keep your personal injury evidence in the same place.

Having a pile of expenses receipts in your dresser drawer and a series of letters in your car will make it very hard to pull out the exact document that you need at any given time. The best way to organize your insurance claim evidence is to keep all your records in the same place, preferably in a single file organizer or in one place on your laptop or computer.

Whether you keep your information in a hard copy format (in a physical file) or a digital copy on your computer, having everything organized by category and in date order will help you keep on top of it.

Start by dividing everything up into the categories that we discuss below, and then place in date order, with the newest on the top and oldest at the back. You may find that subcategorizing the evidence might be helpful for easy access. For example, you could break up your expense receipts into a medical supplies/medicines subfile and taxi or Uber receipts into another.

If you prefer to work on a computer, typing up your notes from conversations and scanning letters and receipts is the way to go. Just make sure that everything is as clear and easy to read as the hard copy of the document.

Photographic evidence

Throughout the process, taking photographs of the damage to your property and your injuries is important. Both taking pictures of the damage and photos of the repairs can justify the costs (think of this as “before-and-after pictures”). Take photos of precisely what has been done by your mechanic or repair shop.

Daily or weekly photos of your injuries can document your progress, the time it takes to recover fully, and the severity of your injury. If you are comfortable taking regular images of your injuries, please do and include them in the medical reports folder.

You should sort these photos into specific folders rather than in their own category. Put pictures of your injuries with the medical reports and photographs of your property damage with the body shop quotes.

All Correspondence

Every letter you have received from your insurance company or the insurance company you are claiming against should go in here. Make sure to include the original contract when you took out your insurance policy too.

Were there witnesses to the accident? Create subfiles for every witness to keep their testimony separate and easy to locate. Write their name and contact details on the front of this subfile for your attorney’s reference (to help them contact witnesses without having to dig for their details).

If the police came to the scene of your accident, they will have to write up a report. Request access to this report, or the report number at the very least, as it would act as an impartial breakdown of the situation and sometimes very detailed.

Lastly, include copies of letters from your personal injury attorney in this section. If you switch from one attorney to another for any reason, then keeping all letters filed in one place can help your new attorney get going much faster.

Conversation notes

The “All Correspondence” section includes all formal emails, letters, and other documents; this section will consist of informal notes from conversations, more like your own personal account of the progress of your claim.

Whenever you speak with an insurance company or any professional involved in your claim, you should write down notes about what you discuss, and be as detailed and specific as possible. Keep a note of the time of the call, who you spoke with, and what was discussed. If anything is alarming about the call, then try to write down exact quotes and the specific time that it was said. Insurance companies might record your phone calls, so you should note the specific time that something was said. If the insurer has threatened to cancel a policy or uses pressuring behavior, we can use the recording to support your claim.

These notes are not limited to conversations with insurance companies. Whenever you speak with the police, adjusters, witnesses to the accident, or the other parties, please jot down information from these conversations. This information is very helpful for your attorney.

If you are not sure if you should be taking notes from a call and not sure if you should include it – do it anyway. Write notes and put them into a subsection of this folder. There is no such thing as too much evidence, so don’t be afraid to include something.

Property Damage

Your claim for property damage is more than just the damage to your vehicle. If your cell phone, dashcam, or any other personal belongings were damaged or destroyed in the accident, then you can add these to your claim.

It helps to get quotes from a couple of body shops to demonstrate that the cost of fixing your vehicle is fair and proportionate to the damage.

The same goes for your belongings. If your iPhone has a broken screen but is working fine, get quotes to repair the phone, as well as the cost of a brand new iPhone. Showing the comparative pricing will support the expense of repairing your phone screen.

Expenses

You can claim expenses resulting from the accident if you pay for them with your own money. This includes the cost of extra medical supplies, pain killers, or even Uber costs. Keep every receipt and file them away.

Many people are unaware that you can claim some, or all, of your travel costs if you are unable to drive because your vehicle is too badly damaged to drive. You will likely receive a proportion of this cost based on the extra expenses incurred (if a journey would have cost $10 in gas, but the Uber was $30, you can claim for the extra $20 expense).

Medical Bills

This section needs to contain all of the medical bills from all doctors and medical services. From your initial “check over” to your ongoing physiotherapist or counselling expenses. File everything here. Every medical cost needs to be recovered, so keep a record of every medical bill for your injuries and include it in this section.

Medical Reports

The medical reports section is likely to be one of the longer and more in-depth areas of your filing system. You will need to request copies of all your records from your doctors to put into this section, unless of course you have an attorney that is doing that for you.

You should ask for copies of your:

  • Doctor and nurse notes
  • Admission charts
  • Prescriptions
  • Exam and test results
  • Doctor’s reports or medical narratives

You should also get copies of medical and progress reports from your ongoing visits to your doctor, not just those from initial visits to the emergency room. If you need ongoing physiotherapy, then regularly updated reports from your physio are a valuable asset for this section of your evidence.

When combined, these documents will create a comprehensive and clear picture of your medical situation and your personal injuries. There is nowhere for the insurance company to hide when your medical reports are clearly laid out in front of them.

A personal journal

Keeping a daily journal is a great way to document your progress from the date of the accident to the date of your settlement. Your journal will record your pain, suffering, and mental state. Keep this short and to the point -each day, note down your pain on a scale of 1 to 10. Then write a short blurb of how you are feeling. Do you have anxiety? Have you struggled to get out of bed today? How do you feel compared to yesterday?

Be careful what you put in here. This journal could be used as evidence in the claim, and anything that you say can be used against you by the insurance company’s attorney. Keep it simple; keep it factual.

Employment records

To claim lost earnings or loss of earning potential, you will need a breakdown of your earnings situation due to the accident.

Include emails between yourself and your employer requesting time off to recover. This will be a combination of sick leave, personal days, and vacation days. If you are not responsible for your accident, you should not be penalized for taking time off to recover.

Include 3-6 months of backdated pay stubs to demonstrate your current earning potential and how much you have lost out on because of the accident. Also include a history of bank deposits if you rely on tips to pay your bills.

Try and get a letter from your employer explaining your expected weekly tips. If they are happy to declare your average weekly tips in a letter, this is an excellent addition to your claim.

Whether you have had to resign, or you were fired because you cannot work, this can become a part of your claim, and so you must include proof of this. You should add these emails and letters here.

Conclusion

Your claim will be significantly stronger if you keep a thorough record of all costs and correspondence in the same place. It will be easier for your attorney to navigate and produce a strong claim. Creating a strong evidence file may seem like a lot of work, but it could make all the difference in the value of your claim.

Sorting out and breaking down the documentation from your claim can help your attorney understand how you have been impacted by the accident. If you need a personal injury attorney to help you with your claim, please contact Kim Welch Law today.

Navigating your personal injury claim can be overwhelming and a considerable strain on you, both physically and mentally. We prioritize our clients and do everything we can to remove this strain and make the process as easy as possible. We will guide you through to the end, and help you get the compensation that you deserve.

Kim Welch is a highly compassionate and experienced personal injury attorney. She has considerable experience in litigating both on behalf of insurance companies and against them. This experience is a valuable asset for your claim.

Not just that, but Kim will always put you first. She is available to take your call at the most convenient time for you and help make your insurance claim as easy as possible. Please call Kim Welch Law today on (888) 590-5510 or complete our website’s contact form.