7 Tips for Documenting the Costs of Serious Accident-Related Injuries

June 16, 2023

If you’ve been injured in a vehicle collision, slip-and-fall, or any other type of serious accident that was someone else’s (or a company’s) fault, you are entitled to just compensation under Pennsylvania law. Accident victims in Pennsylvania can hold individuals and companies accountable for their negligence, and accident victims have the right to recover the compensation they need to deal with their injuries’ financial and non-financial effects—both in the present and in the future.

You Need to Prove Two Things When Seeking Financial Compensation After an Accident in Pennsylvania

To assert your right to just compensation, you need to be able to prove two things. First, you need to prove that you have a personal injury claim. This involves hiring a law firm to conduct an investigation and gather evidence of negligence. It is important to do this promptly, as certain types of evidence can quickly disappear.

Second, you need to prove how much you are entitled to recover. While your law firm can (and will) assist with this as well, there are some important steps you will need to take on your own—with your law firm’s guidance. Proving your losses involves documenting your injuries’ effects as thoroughly as possible, and this means doing your best to collect and generate various forms of documentation.

Proving the Financial and Non-Financial Costs of Serious Accident-Related Injuries

What types of documentation do you need when pursuing a personal injury claim in Pennsylvania? While every case is unique, most accident victims will need many of the same types of evidence to prove the financial and non-financial costs of their injuries. Here are seven important tips to keep in mind:

1. Start a File for Your Medical Records

Your medical records will be key evidence in support of your personal injury claim. While you (or your law firm) can always obtain your medical records from your doctor’s office later, it is a good idea to get in the habit of collecting them in a file if you can. Each time you get home from an appointment, put any bills, receipts, scans, test results and other records you received in a file to share with your law firm. This will help you stay organized, and it will help your law firm provide a preliminary assessment of the value of your claim.

2. Start a File for Your Employment Records

If you are unable to work due to your injuries, or if you need to miss work to go to the doctor’s office, you should start a file for your employment records as well. In this file, you should keep copies of any documents you receive from your employer, and you should do your best to keep track of all of the days or hours you miss from work. In Pennsylvania, accident victims can recover just compensation for their lost earnings after a serious accident. But, to recover this compensation, you must be able to prove that the accident has prevented you from working.

3. Print (or Save) Copies of Emails and Electronic Files

These days, many healthcare providers and employers send electronic files instead of providing their employees and patients with paper copies of important documents. If your healthcare provider or employer emails you or provides you with access to important documents through an online portal, you should print these out—or at least save copies on your computer, tablet or phone.

Emails can be difficult to manage, and your access to online files and messages may expire. If you print or save copies of everything, you can be sure that you have everything you need in a safe place.

4. Keep Your Receipts and Pay With a Debit or Credit Card if Possible

Along with medical expenses and lost earnings, accident victims in Pennsylvania can recover just compensation for many other types of out-of-pocket costs as well. To document these costs, you should save your receipts, and you should try to pay with a debit card or credit card when possible (though, of course, you should still manage your finances carefully). If you pay with a debit or credit card, your account statements will serve as documentation of your expenses—and your law firm will be able to use them to make sure that it is seeking just compensation for all of the costs you are entitled to recover.

5. Keep Following Your Doctor’s Advice

As you work to move on from the accident, it is extremely important that you keep following your doctor’s advice. Keep going to your appointments, keep filling your prescriptions, and keep resting if this is what your doctor has prescribed. Not only will this help ensure that you can continue documenting the effects of your injuries, but it will also help prevent the insurance companies from blaming you for your own medical expenses, lost income, and pain and suffering.

6. Take Photos Throughout the Recovery Process

In addition to collecting records and documenting your expenses, it can also be extremely helpful to take photos throughout the recovery process. When you have a personal injury claim, a picture can truly be worth a thousand words. By documenting your injuries, your medical needs and your daily struggles, you can help your law firm paint a clear picture of the total costs of the accident.

7. Take Notes on a Daily Basis

Finally, along with taking photos, it is also a good idea to take notes on a daily basis. Each day, record your pain levels and write down all of the other ways your injuries negatively impact your life. From being unable to do chores at home to missing family events and children’s activities, the non-financial consequences of your injuries will have a significant impact on the amount you are entitled to recover.

Discuss Your Personal Injury Claim with an Experienced Lawyer in Confidence

If you have been seriously injured in an accident in Pennsylvania, we encourage you to contact us promptly for more information. To discuss your personal injury claim with an experienced lawyer in confidence as soon as possible, call 888-777-7098 or request a free consultation online today.