New Jersey personal injury claims come in many sizes. For the large, complex cases, your attorney may handle most of the heavy lifting. He will guide you through the process, and he will typically rely on expert witnesses and various resources to investigate the claim and gather evidence to recover the best possible monetary award. Smaller cases are no less important, but you may play a more pivotal role at the outset. For these cases, there are steps you can take immediately to help your case and to secure a settlement that best meets your needs.
Seeking Medical Treatment for Your Injury
Regardless of how serious your personal claim is, documenting your injuries as soon as possible is important. Whether it was a car accident, slip and fall, a dog bite or some other injury, it is important that you seek medical attention right away. Initially, you may not think that a visit to the ER or an Urgent Care facility is warranted. However, putting off a necessary visit to a medical professional is a mistake. You may have injuries that you are unaware of, and the sooner you are seen and diagnosed, the better. Often, an injury doesn’t make itself known until days, or even weeks later. If you wait until then, it’s that much more difficult to prove that your symptoms are tied to the accident. In personal injury cases, and for your health, it’s always a matter of “better safe than sorry." See a doctor or health professional as soon as possible.
Memories can fade with the passage of time. Don’t assume that you will remember every aspect of the accident, the treatment you sought, the facilities you visited, etc. Written documentation is always preferable to oral recollection. Keep records of your medical visits, lost wages, expenses you incur going to medical appointments and other associated costs.
Once you’ve been seen, you should keep a journal of your injuries and keep record of the doctors you visit for treatment. If possible, it’s a good idea to take notes at the scene of the accident or immediately thereafter. Importantly, get the contact information for all witnesses who were present at the scene, as they could later help your case by providing unbiased testimony about what happened.
The more information you can provide to your attorney about your accident, the stronger your claim will be. If there are witnesses, be sure to gather their names and contact information. If your accident was the result of a situation that had been ongoing or previously noted, be sure to include that in your notes. Gather any available accident statements, police reports, medical notes and the like to provide to your attorney.
An experienced personal injury attorney will investigate your New Jersey injury claim and help you prove your case. Following these guidelines gives your lawyer an immediate advantage in analyzing and preparing your case.