Ultimate Personal Injury Case Preparation_ Your Complete Checklist

You need to know the complete personal injury case checklist. Being a cautious person doesn’t guarantee that you can avoid injury. If someone else’s actions or carelessness injured you, you know that such an experience isn’t just frustrating and painful—it can also be costly. If your injuries require medical treatment, you may not know how you’ll pay for it. You may also struggle with lost wages, pain and suffering, and related losses during your recovery.

You can seek compensation for these losses by filing an insurance claim with the at-fault party’s insurer. The following injury claim preparation guide can help if you’re thinking about doing so. The information here will help you better understand how to prepare to seek the compensation you deserve.

Chicago Personal Injury Case Checklist: What You Need When Filing a Claim

The following legal checklist for injury cases in Illinois is a general overview. The specific ways in which you may prepare for your case can vary depending on numerous factors. If you’ve hired a lawyer, they may recommend additional ways to prepare.

Regardless of the exact nature of your case, your personal injury documentation checklist should include the following:

Insurance Information

Any type of accident that leaves you with injuries can be a frightening experience. Finding yourself disoriented in the aftermath of such an incident is understandable. Taking the proper steps immediately after you sustain injuries could improve your chances of receiving compensation.

Everyone knows that it’s essential to exchange contact and insurance information with the other parties involved when you’re in a motor vehicle accident. You or your lawyer also need to learn which insurance company you should file a claim with when you’re injured in other ways, such as in a slip and fall at a grocery store or in a dog bite accident.

Don’t worry if you failed to gather this information immediately after being injured. There are various ways you or your lawyer might track it down later.

Medical Records

One of the most common types of losses in personal injury claimants is medical bills. If someone else caused your injuries, you shouldn’t have to pay for your own treatment. Keeping copies of your medical records lets you demonstrate why you deserve the compensation you’re seeking. In addition, your medical records can show proof that your injuries resulted from the accident rather than from some other cause.

Medical records or the reports of physicians who treated your injuries can also be helpful if you need to estimate the potential cost of future losses. If your injuries leave you in need of long-term care, your settlement or award should reflect the estimated cost of that care. When determining how expensive future medical care may be, you could reference your current medical records.

Medical records may even help you assign a value to intangible losses that don’t have exact dollar values, like pain and suffering. Legal professionals may apply specialized formulas to assign a value to such a loss. Medical records can help with this process by clearly outlining the extent of your injuries, your pain levels, the amount of treatment required to alleviate your suffering, and more.

Witness Statements

Insurance companies are for-profit businesses. An insurance company may attempt to pay you less than you’re seeking when you file a claim. If the insurance company argues you haven’t proven that the insured caused your injuries, they may try to deny your claim entirely.

Technically, a claims adjuster should investigate your case when you file a claim. Their investigation should generate evidence of liability. However, it’s wise not to trust the insurance company to investigate the matter fully. You or your lawyer should investigate the cause of the accident.

Witness testimony can be useful evidence when you must prove who caused the accident. If you didn’t get witness statements in the immediate aftermath of an accident, witnesses might still be willing to give statements now. Their testimony can help if an insurance company argues there’s minimal evidence that someone else caused the accident.

Documentation of Lost Wages

Your injuries might prevent you from working as you recover. If they’re very severe, they may prevent you from working indefinitely or ever again. It’s not always clear whether injuries are serious enough to prevent a victim from returning to work. Your doctor can determine when and if it’s safe for you to start working again.

While you can’t work, you can’t earn an income. If the reason you can’t work is that someone else injured you, you could be entitled to compensation for lost wages.

Your personal injury case checklist should include documentation of such losses. Documentation of lost wages can take the form of pay stubs showing what you earned before your injuries. Alternatively, your employer may provide a statement indicating you haven’t been able to work and earn wages since being injured. If you’re self-employed, it’s a little more tricky. You can provide proof of your income by submitting copies of completed tax returns, recent accounts receivable, outstanding invoices, and your calendar of upcoming work.

Other Evidence and Documentation

a personal injury attorney sitting at a table holding a pen and a case checklist

The more evidence you gather when preparing for a personal injury case, the better. For example, you may have photos of the accident scene. Include this evidence in your folder with all the documentation related to your case.

You may also gather other evidence of losses. Such evidence could include receipts for prescription drugs, medical equipment, and even documentation of your treatment-related travel costs.

Contact a Chicago Personal Injury Attorney

Preparing for an Illinois personal injury case doesn’t need to be as intimidating an experience as you might assume. That’s because you don’t have to navigate this process alone.

At JJ Legal, our Chicago personal injury attorneys are available to offer the compensation you deserve. Our team can help you gather all the documentation you need to complete your personal injury case checklist. Our goal is to ensure we’re thoroughly prepared to negotiate for a fair settlement. If the insurance company won’t agree to an appropriate settlement, we’re prepared to take your case to trial to get the money you deserve.

Learn more about how we can help by contacting us online or calling us at 312-200-2000 for a free case review.

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