After an accident, documenting your injury is probably the last thing on your mind. Unfortunately, documentation is vital when proving your personal injury case. In this article, we are going to cover exactly how to document your injuries.
What You Can Ask for in a Personal Injury Lawsuit
There are many types of damages you can get in a personal injury case. Here is a list and brief description of those types of damages:
These are damages that are proved by specific bills, invoices and receipts.
- Medical Expenses: These include ambulance and hospital bills, x-rays, MRI’s, surgery expenses, doctor’s bills, physical therapy and prescription medicine.
- Lost Wages: If you lose time from work because of your injury or doctor visits, then you can get reimbursed for those wages. This is true even if you use vacation time, sick time, or other paid time off (PTO).
These are discretionary damages. They are not necessarily detailed by specific bills or receipts. Rather, the judge or jury has total discretion of whether to award these types of damages and how much to award.
- Pain & Suffering: An injury causes pain. Texas law recognizes that a person should be compensated for enduring physical pain.
- Mental Anguish: With an injury and pain comes mental anguish. This is something more than just routine depression. It is that helpless feeling you get when you are limited in your abilities to comfortably pursue your everyday tasks.
- Physical Disfigurement: This includes things like scarring, burns, loss of a limb or body part, or other physical deformity cause by an injury.
- Physical Impairment: This includes things like paralysis, blindness, loss of a limb, or other physical deficit caused by an injury.
Documenting you Damages and Injuries.
- Photographs: A picture speaks a thousand words. If you are able to get photographs of the accident scene, property damage, or your injuries, then do so. This is where your documentation begins.
- Journals and Diaries: Some people like to keep a journal. They document their injury, medical treatment and the effects on their everyday life. This is especially helpful to refresh your memory in preparing for a deposition or testimony. However, be careful what you write down. Sometimes these journals must be disclosed in litigation. Therefore, the statement you make can be used against you.
- Receipts: You need to keep track of your expenses with receipt and invoices. These would include medical bills and prescription receipts. You want to make sure these bills are an itemized detailed summary of the services and charges. A bill that merely states the total balance due is not sufficient.
- Lost income: You will need to document the time lost from work. A good way to do this is a “lost wage letter” from you employer. Your personal injury attorney will usually have a form that your supervisor can fill out. You might also need to get your paycheck stubs and possibly your tax returns.
It Starts with Hiring the Right Lawyer.
Whether you know it or not, you case starts growing immediately following an accident. How it grows depends on whether it gets the right attention from the very beginning. That is why hiring the right personal injury attorney early on is very important. Call our law offices in Dallas for a free consultation. Have your documentation ready and let’s get to work on making you whole again.