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  • Writer's pictureAlex Maltese

Why Should You Take Notes After an Accident or Injury

Accidents come in many forms and the aftermath can range from mild to catastrophic. After all, some people experience injuries that will change their quality of life permanently. This may be because of the loss of ability to work or the newfound inability to enjoy what used to be some of the pleasures of life that they would look forward to.

Many variables will come into play. The events leading up to an auto accident, for example, are numerous. This will range from the number and types of vehicles involved to actions taken by the drivers, etc.

What's clear is that a lot can happen and relying on memory for certain information when a personal injury claim is on the horizon isn't recommended. With that said, here's a look at how to begin taking notes, why doing so is essential and the importance of gathering evidence for your personal injury claim.

What Kinds of Notes Should Be Taken?

What Kinds of Notes Should Be Taken?

Perhaps it's a good idea not to think about it in the context of which notes to be taken. Instead, approach it from the mindset of what the goal is. Once there is an accident that's significant enough, a personal injury claim may be in the future.

Such cases require those involved to do everything they can to get the outcome they seek. If a car accident is what happened, for example, the other driver is likely taking steps to mitigate losses, even if they were the negligent party.

With this in mind the types of details that will help include how the incident happened and what kind of incident it was, what kinds of injuries and impact on daily life occurred, what kinds of financial losses took place, and just about anything else that can clear up how a victim has been affected.

When Is a Good Time to Make Notes and How Specific Should They Be?

Ongoing notes should be the practice employed here. As different things happen that even look like they may be relevant to the claim, it's time to start documenting. Detailed notes are always recommended, even complete with specifics that may seem minute but help to paint the picture.

What were the weather conditions like? What time was it? What was the victim doing? Where was the victim going? What was seen? What was felt? What did witnesses and those involved say about the accident?

Good Areas to Cover

Injuries You Have Suffered and How They Are Affecting You

Many injuries are going to progressively start showing their effects in the first days after the accident. Sometimes, everything simply won't reveal itself immediately, which is why it's essential to consistently evaluate. There may be physical pain or stiffness that seems to have started, for example.

The idea here is to make notes on every form of discomfort being affected. This could be pain, illness, loss of sleep, anxiety, PTSD, or anything else that is linked to the accident.

Apart from noting what is happening, make notes of all the effects too. The pain may cause reduced mobility, for example.

Remember that these kinds of details can fade away from the memory as the weeks pass, so keeping these kinds of detailed records provides a useful reference point later.

What Have You Lost Out on?

When an injury attorney aims to seek compensation on behalf of a client, there needs to be a series of references that are used. For example, if there is supposed to be a medical provider element of the proceedings, the expectation is that there would be medical records that speak to the injuries, treatment provided, treatment that will be needed, and the costs associated with being attended to.

While there will be formal documentation in these kinds of cases to clarify the figures, it still helps to make all the necessary notes beforehand so the right pieces of evidence can be sought.

Account for all kinds of losses as the notes are being made including job opportunities, work hours, events, classes, etc.

Conversational Details

This is yet another area where memory is simply inefficient. People will sometimes find that their stories change as things get foggy over time. From the scene of the accident, it's recommended to keenly pay attention to everything that is being said by everyone.

It can't be stated enough how important it is to ensure that these kinds of details are fully captured. These could be talks with other people involved in the accident, witnesses, the police, etc.

On that note, conversations that happen as time passes should also be recorded. Discussions with insurance companies are a good example. As much as possible, try to document names, locations, etc. too.

Attorney Interactions

It may not seem immediately obvious that interactions with attorneys should be documented but they should be too, though the reasons are twofold.

The first is before deciding whose services to retain. The idea is to compare notes to finalize which attorney is the best fit.

Next, there are notes about discussions that are had with the lawyer to keep track of progress, action items, and expectations.

Negotiations in Personal Injury Claims

Most personal injury claims will never make it to court. Thankfully, that's because they will be settled before. However, the negotiation process that leads to the said settlement is not the most straightforward thing in the world.

It will likely span multiple sessions over multiple days, so keeping track of what happens in each is very important. One of the essential data points, for example, is the offer put forward by the other side and how it changes as the negotiations continue.

Why Taking Notes Is Essential

So far there has been a lot of "what" covered. This includes what to write down and the specific details that should be captured. With that understanding, now it's time to turn the attention to why it's so important to take notes after an accident or injury.

When a personal injury claim is filed, it's an attempt by a victim to successfully demonstrate that another party was negligent and compensation should be provided by their insurance company.

Such a proceeding puts the burden of proof on the victim, which means that everything that could help to solidify the narrative is essential.

Sure, some of what is recorded will not stand on its own to negotiate a settlement. For example, notes about the injuries suffered and the course of treatment will need to be supported by medical records.

However, chronologically documenting elements such as the different limitations and effects the injury has imposed over what would normally have been the expected quality of life can be very helpful.

Try not to spend time obsessing about what sounds relevant. Instead, focus on what is seen, heard, said, felt, and done in different scenarios.

What Are Some Other Steps to Take After a Car Accident

What Are Some Other Steps to Take After a Car Accident

Seek Medical Treatment

One of the most important courses of action is to get treated after an accident. Once there is the ability to do so, if non medical team has been called to the scene, call or visit one depending on the capability to do either.

If medical attention must be requested for others involved because they are unable to do so themselves, try to get help for them too.

Gather Essential Evidence

Good evidence-gathering goes well with well-taken notes. Capture the license plate number of other vehicles involved, photos of vehicle documents, photos and videos of the scene, contact information of involved parties and witnesses, etc.

Contact an Attorney Who Is an Expert in the Personal Injury Claim Space

While there is no legal requirement to retain the services of a personal injury lawyer, doing so significantly increases the chances of getting the best possible result.

Contacting an injury law firm on Long Island in short order allows for access to legal counsel, which can prevent taking actions that may jeopardize a personal injury claim.

Try Not to Deal with an Insurance Company Alone

Whether it's the victim's insurance company or that of the negligent party, they are more concerned with reducing payouts as much as possible instead of caring for the victim. Their staff members are very good at fishing for statements that can reduce settlement amounts.

This is why it's recommended to engage with any of these companies without the assistance of a personal injury attorney.

Provide a Statement to the Police

Believe it or not, a police report is enough to make or break a personal injury claim settlement. This starts with providing a statement to the police department. Do so to the officer called to the scene if there is one.

In the absence of such an officer, once possible, pay a visit to the relevant station based on the area and make a statement there. Law Office of Carl Maltese can advise on questions like how do you fix an incorrect police accident report?

Schedule Your Free Consultation with a Passionate Long Island Personal Injury Attorney Today!

Detailed note-taking is an essential skill to have as someone who is trying to come out on the positive end of a personal injury claim. The information above sheds light on how notes should be approached and why they are so important.

Of course, having the right lawyer is a key ingredient too. If you need the assistance of a dedicated Long Island personal injury attorney, schedule a free consultation with The Law Office of Carl Maltese today!


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