Pursuing a claim for compensation is not easy unless you plan to accept the insurance company’s low-ball offer. Even if you don’t plan to go to court, you will need evidence to prove your claim no matter how obvious it seems to you that the other party should be held accountable for your injuries. Unfortunately, this can be overwhelming for many people who have suffered a serious injury. An experienced Atlanta personal injury attorney can help.
The Basics of a Personal Injury Case
In any personal injury case, you will have to prove to the insurance company or the court that you deserve compensation. To put it another way, you will have to prove the following elements in order to successfully bring a claim:
- That the other party was negligent;
- That their negligence caused the accident;
- That the accident led to your injuries, either physical harm or monetary losses or both.
The first two elements establish that the other party should be held liable for your injuries. The third element pertains to the value of your claim and how much compensation you may deserve.
Obtain Accident Reports & Witness Statements
The first step in a personal injury case is to prove what happened. As a result, you will want to obtain copies of any accident reports that may have been generated. For example, if you were in a car accident and the police were called to the scene, the police will generate an accident report that includes some of the basic details surrounding the incident. If you were injured at work, your employer may have prepared an accident report.
In addition to accident reports, you will also want to get statements from any eyewitnesses to the accident. Ideally, you should get their statements in writing. It may be weeks, months, or years before you actually need their statement. Getting their statement in writing can help memorialize important facts.
Photodocument the Accident and Your Injuries
Thanks to the smartphone, most of us are carrying a camera with us at all times. While you may not be able to take pictures at the time the accident occurred, pictures taken shortly thereafter can still be very helpful to your case. If you’re not sure what to take pictures of, here are some examples:
- Document the location of where the accident occurred to capture signage (or lack thereof) or any hazardous conditions that you believe contributed to your accident.
- Take pictures of your injuries, particularly any bruising, swelling, cuts, abrassions and other visible injuries. You may also want to keep taking pictures throughout the healing process in order to demonstrate how long it took for you to recover.
- If you were involved in a car accident, take pictures of the damage to your vehicle.
Be sure to take multiple photos from difficult angles and in good lighting. In addition, it’s a good idea to turn on the date stamp in the settings so that each photo will show the date that it was taken.
Get Your Paperwork in Order
Finally, you want to be sure to keep copies of all of the paperwork surrounding your accident. For many people, this can seem like the most burdensome part of their case. You will need the following documents in order to support your claim:
- All medical bills
- Any doctor’s reports or other documentation describing the nature, extent, and cause of your injuries
- Documentation reflecting any lost income
- Bills, invoices, or receipts reflecting any expense or cost caused by your accident
There may be other documents you need that aren’t listed here. We recommend that you keep everything and get rid of it only once your claim is fully paid and settled.
Contact the Atlanta Personal Injury Lawyers at Slappey & Sadd
If you’ve suffered a serious injury, the best thing you can do is speak with a Georgia personal injury attorney. The personal injury attorneys at Slappey & Sadd have the knowledge and experience you need to build a successful claim. Call us at 404-255-6677 or email us to schedule a free case evaluation with one of our Atlanta personal injury injuries today.