If you’ve been injured in an accident and are seeking compensation for your losses, it’s important that you document your recovery and what specifically those losses are. One of the first things you should do is take pictures to document the actual occurrence. For instance, if you were involved in a motor vehicle accident, take pictures of not only your vehicle but any other vehicles involved as well. This is because it is not uncommon for one vehicle to have significant damage, while another has very little. In this situation, the insurance company will often rely solely on the photographs of the vehicle with minor damage to claim it was not a severe accident. However, by photographing the damage to the other vehicles involved you can avoid this problem.
With the majority of people having smart phones with photo technology, taking pictures post-accident is a simple, but extremely important, thing to do. Another reason to get these pictures right away is because it may be your only opportunity to do so. If your car is towed from the scene with severe damage, it may very well be totaled and you won’t see it again. A lot of people think that it’s okay because surely the insurance company will take pictures and provide me with them upon request. Unfortunately, this isn’t the case. Yes, the insurance company will take pictures, but they are under no obligation to disclose anything to you until you file a lawsuit. While, taking pictures of vehicle damage is likely not the first or even second thing you are thinking about after you’ve been involved in an accident, if possible be sure to take them. In this same regard, if you’ve injured yourself in a slip and fall accident, do yourself a huge favor and take pictures of the area where you fell, i.e. the water/liquid on the floor, the ice/snow on the sidewalk or stairs, obstruction in the middle of the aisle, etc. Having photographic evidence to prove your claim is truly the difference between having a good case and no case at all.
Keeping a diary is also a great way to document your recovery process. People who’ve been injured in an accident, often have the same complaints: it’s difficult to do my housework, I can’t take care of my kids or play with them, I’m in so much pain I can’t sleep through the night, I can’t exercise or do the recreational activities I enjoy, etc. While these complaints are almost universal for those who have been involved in an accident, keeping a diary will help your attorney (and later the insurance company) understand how the accident and your resulting injuries have truly affected your life on a daily basis. It doesn’t have to be pages of formal writing, just general notes of the specific activities, social events, work related tasks, and functions your injuries have prevented you from doing.
Lastly, it’s also a good idea to take pictures of any visible physical injuries you may have. While it’s one thing to read about someone’s medical condition in a medical record, it’s even better to be able to visibly see what that person was going through. Take pictures continuously throughout your recovery to document your progress.
Filed under: Articles by Jennifer Crichton
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