Sadly, vehicle accidents are a common occurrence on roads both small and large within the United States. In fact, more than six million accidents on average are recorded on a yearly basis, and traffic accidents are the number one reason why people file personal injury claims in court throughout the country. Because auto accident personal injury claims are common, it should be easy to find an experienced attorney to work with who knows all the jargon and processes that come into play with auto accident cases. While you can let your lawyer do all the legwork for you, there are a few things you can do to aid in maximizing your potential settlement. Consider the following methods and techniques:
Take Plenty of Photos
It's important to take photographs of the scene of the accident, even if you have to go back to do it after the fact. The reason for photographing the scene of the accident is to document landmarks, such as lights and stop signs, so there are no questions as to exactly where the accident happened. Photos of the accident scene should also provide some perspective and insight into your story about how the accident happened overall.
You should also take clear photographs of any damage that was done to your vehicle, as well as any injuries you and your passengers received, due to the accident. This will provide visual proof of your claims for damage, injuries, pain, and suffering. Take photos of your personal injuries as they heal to create visual confirmation of your recovery process.
Maintain a Daily Recovery Diary
To aid in proving the progress of your recovery, it's effective to maintain a daily diary. This diary should include anything that pertains to the results of your accident and how you are dealing with it. You should find that there are plenty of important topics to document, such as these:
- Medications you're taking daily and how they make you feel
- How you physically and mentally feel as soon as you wake up and right before bed time
- Doctor and physical therapy appointments and what was covered in the appointments
- Missed work days and an accumulation of how much money is being lost
You can use a simple notebook to record a diary as it provides plenty of space for daily documentation and the pages can be easily copied if you decide to provide the documentation to more than one party at a time.
Collect and Copy all Paperwork
In order for your auto accident attorney to maximize your potential settlement amount, you will need to provide proof of all lost income and expenses that are a result of your accident. The best way to do this is to simply collect the following documents and make copies of them for your lawyer and the other party:
- Medical and physical therapy bills
- Car rental expenses
- Medication costs
- Uncovered vehicle repair bills
It's also important to document your loss of income due to missed work—have your boss write a letter attesting to your missed work and to provide you with updated documentation when necessary. You should also keep records of your scheduled hours, actual hours worked, and pay stubs.
Write a Personal Letter to the Court
Another effective way to help your lawyer maximize your potential settlement is to write a personal letter to the court that explains your own thoughts and challenges in regard to the results of your auto accident. Writing a personalized letter gives you a chance to plead your case and explain your side of the story in your own words.
While you won't be able to actually submit your letter to the judge, you can use it as an outline to prepare for on-the-stand testimonies and depositions, which should help ensure that nothing important you want to convey is overlooked.
These tips and tricks should be easy to implement, and they will go a long way in helping your lawyer prove your case so you don't have to worry about paying for repairs and recovery expenses out of pocket. If you don't have an auto accident attorney yet, find one through a firm like Gelman Gelman Wiskow & McCarthy LLC.