If you have been injured in an accident in Maryland, the costs associated with recovery can build up very quickly. In addition to hospitalization and other potential medical treatments, you may end up missing work and losing a portion of your income. Bringing a personal injury claim against the party responsible for your injuries could help you and your family deal with this financial burden. If you are currently pursuing a personal injury claim, or if you or someone you love has recently been injured and you're considering pursuing a claim, one important thing to remember is to try and document all events beginning with the injury itself to the best of your abilities.
Records to Keep in a Maryland Personal Injury Case
It is often said that after an accident, any involved party should immediately write down the course of events as they were perceived. The reason being that over time, important details can be forgotten; details that could greatly impact the outcome of your case. Having a record of events can help ensure that those details are not lost and are readily available to you should you need. The more information you have about your injury and how the injury has impacted your day to day life, the better for your case.
Creating Your Own Record of Events
Keeping a record of events post-injury that accurately describe how your everyday activities are impacted by the pain from your injury will help a court assess your pain and suffering which will be taken into consideration when determining a fair monetary damage award. Your notes should go into detail about how you feel at different times of the day and how those feelings are different from before you suffered your injury. It is important to note that suffering does not encompass only physical pain that stems from the injury itself, but also any emotional and mental anguish you may experience.
The impetus behind most personal injury actions is to be awarded a sum of money by a court by way of damages. Most of the time, a key element of an award of monetary damages will be based upon your out of pocket expenses related to your injury. Thus, it is important to make and keep copies of your medical bills, prescription history, and any other expenses that were incurred as a result of your injury. It is also important to keep a record of the doctors you have visited for the treatment of your injury. It is possible that the court will want to hear the opinions and observations of the doctors you visited. The information provided by those doctors will help a court determine just how injured you are and what should be awarded to put you in a better position to go through life.
Inability to Work
If you have been unable to work because of your injury, make a record of each day of work you miss, how you felt that day, and an accurate assessment of the wages you lost that day due to your absence, if you are able. If you have email correspondence between yourself and your employer, make certain to keep copies. If you have access to any additional documentation which demonstrates the work that you missed, be sure to obtain these as well. Doing this will help the court make an informed decision on the amount of damages you are to receive.
It is said that a picture is worth 1,000 words and it is true that a record of photographs may help your claim. You should take pictures of your injuries and any damaged property, such as a vehicle. The timing of the photographs is important as you will want to show the most accurate account possible of the significance of your injury prior to any healing. If you were involved in a car accident, try to take pictures of the defendant's vehicle at the scene. This will ensure that the defendant did not have time to repair the vehicle and will show a court how serious the accident and subsequent injuries are.
Once you have made record of your daily activities, medical bills, correspondence, sequence of events, doctors, and photographs, you should organize them in a way that is easy for another person to read. For example, you may want start a file with separate dividers with the following sections:
- Medical Bills
- Medical Records
- Prescription Records
- Doctors Visited
- Witness Information
- Daily Notes
- Miscellaneous Notes
Once completed, give the file to your attorney. The information will give your attorney a good idea as to the value of your case and help determine if you should settle or go to trial. It is very likely that the opposing side will also want a copy of the file. If you are unsure of which records to keep, or have any other questions regarding a potential personal injury claim, contact the team at Gilman & Bedigian. We offer a free initial consultation and our experienced team of personal injury attorneys can direct you towards the best first step to take in pursuing your claim.