INVESTIGATION OF THE FACTS IN A PERSONAL INJURY CASE
First of all, we meet with you and begin to gather all the facts about the personal injury case from you. Next, we open a file for your case. Usually, we begin our investigation of your case immediately. Every individual case is investigated differently, but generally we try to obtain photographs and police reports of the accident scene, a diagram and measurements of the accident scene, photographs of any vehicles or objects involved in the injury, and statements of investigating police officers. In other words, we try and obtain all of the facts and evidence concerning your accident, whether favorable or not favorable. This helps us to know the full extent of the responsibility or fault for the accident of the other party or parties, including any responsibility or fault which you might have for the accident.
There is a possibility that the other party or an adjuster for the other party’s insurance company will try and contact you. You should NOT discuss any aspect of the case with either the other party or the adjuster. If contacted, just refer the adjuster of the other party to our law office.
Additionally, you should realize that the insurance company for the other party might conduct any investigation of your physical and emotional condition. The insurance company might monitor your activities and movements and you could be videotaped or photographs by long-distance equipment without your knowledge. An investigator for the defendant’s insurance company might contact your friends, neighbors, employer or co-workers. If you learn of any such investigation or contact by the defendant, his attorney, or his insurance company, please advise us immediately so that we are aware of the situation.
OBTAINING MEDICAL RECORDS BILLS AND REPORTS
We also contact any hospital and doctors where you have been treated and released to obtain complete copies of your records and bills. As we pointed out above, the amount of your medical bills is an extremely important factor in evaluating your claim. You should make sure that our office receives a copy of each and every medical bill, including prescriptions, braces and bandages. Each documented medical expense will increase the value of your claim.
Additionally, keep an accurate mileage and time record of each and every trip for medical treatment. We can utilize these records to increase the value of your claim. Make sure that our office receives a copy of this record.
Once your doctor indicates that he can write a final report, we request a report on the nature and extent of your injuries. We provide you with a copy of any such medical report obtained so that you are fully aware of your doctor’s opinion as to your medical condition.
OBTAINING LOST TIME RECORDS
If you have lost time from work, we will ask your cooperation in helping us to obtain a lost time statement from your employer. Again, the amount of your lost time is one of the primary factors in the evaluation of your claim.
In order for the defendant’s insurance company, lawyer, or the jury to understand how you are changed by the injuries from the accident, it is often helpful to have “before and after” witnesses. These are people who knew you both “before and after” the accident and can tell us what effects the accident has had on you, your family, your personal life, and your job.
These people can be family members, friends, neighbors, co-workers or your supervisor. They can be extremely valuable in your case since they can explain on a human, daily basis how you have been affected physically and emotionally by your injuries. After you have read this letter, please advise us of at least three people who can and will testify as to your problems and changes since your accident. Of particular importance are your co-workers and work supervisor.
Have questions about your personal injury case? Contact Us.