What Are the Key Documents Underlying Your Case?

Date:April 13, 2016

Whether your injuries arose from an auto accident, a slip and fall, or from a defective product, documentation can be the most important aspect of your personal injury case.

Documents can make the difference between winning and losing at trial or negotiating a better settlement. You can do much to help your Manchester injury lawyer move your personal injury case forward and get a fair settlement.

Here are some of the documents that you can obtain to help your attorneys present your case.  This is not an exhaustive list; your attorney may have some additions and subtractions.

  • Medical Records. Medical records provide information on the injuries you sustained, their nature and severity, and the relative cost involved.  It is essential that you obtain copies of all of your medical records which includes all medical visits, x-rays, any medications prescribed, records of all doctor’s visits, your health history, and any course of treatment.
  • Statements by Treating Professionals. This includes statements by your doctors, any medical staff, emergency medical technicians, fire department personnel, ambulance drivers and staff, any mental health professionals, physical therapists, and any other witnesses who were involved in or observed your treatment.  These witnesses range from those who were at the scene of the accident or injury, gave you any type of medical assistance or were involved with your subsequent care.  Include business cards and any other contact information that you have for each individual.  If you do not have these statements, do not take it upon yourself to contact these individuals or obtain these statements without speaking with your Manchester injury lawyer first. Instead, give your attorney the list of witnesses.  Your attorney may already have a plan of how to obtain these statements or may want to subpoena and depose each witness.
  • A Journal. It is important for your case that you document your daily activities.  That is, you should write about how you felt when you woke up in the morning and throughout the day, were you able to perform as usual given your injuries, how it affected your every-day life, and what you could not do because of your injuries.  You should also write in a journal the events of the accident or injury as you remember them while they are fresh in your mind and include additional details as you remember them.
  • Witness Statements. If a witness gives a statement, obtain a copy of it.  This includes at the scene statements, any cards, emails, correspondence, memos or any other writing that includes any details about the accident or cause of injury.  If you do not have any witness statements, you should make sure to have contact information for any potential witness.  Do not obtain witness statements on your own without speaking with your attorney.  Prepare a list of those witnesses and give that list to your attorney.
  • Police Reports. It is essential to obtain a copy of all police reports for your case.  If you can, obtain each police officer’s business card and badge number in case your Manchester injury lawyer needs to subpoena police records.
  • Photos. Any photos of the scene of the accident, a defective product, a building, your injuries, any witnesses, and the like could be important evidence in your case.  If you take photos on your phone, do not delete them so that you can preserve the chain of custody.  Speak with your Manchester injury lawyer about how to do this.  Make sure to save an extra copy of your phone data in case your phone is damaged.
  • Computer Data. Computer data can provide a plethora of information and evidence in your case.  All of your computer data should be preserved and you should notify your attorney that you have done so.  Additionally, if any information about your case is recorded on a computer whether it be at a hospital, by a police officer, or any other witness, make a note of it and tell your attorney.
  • Phone Data. Your phone contains a lot of data and so do witnesses’ phones.  If you are texting or calling after an accident or injury or see witnesses texting or calling, those texts and phone calls could be important.  Preserve your phone data and make a note of any witnesses’ phone activity.
  • Work Information. You should document any work information that is pertinent to your case.  For example, if you are injured, you may have to take time off work or miss more work because of your injuries.  You may not be able to perform your job as you once did or at all because of your injuries.  That needs to be documented.
  • All Insurance Documents. All insurance documents relevant to your case should be produced to your attorney.  This includes any insurance information from the opposing party, if you have it.
  • All Bills. Bills incurred as a result of your injury are relevant evidence to your case.  You should obtain and keep all evidence of such. Examples are repair bills, transportation costs, medical co-pays, insurance payments, invoices, logs, and expenses incurred.  Keep your bank statements and credit card statements as well as any receipts.

You and your attorney’s staff will share the work of gathering and compiling this information, but some of the work can only be done by you. Your Manchester injury lawyer at Manning & Zimmerman will guide you through the process.  (603) 624-7200.

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