Taking Notes After a Car Accident: Tips to Boost Your Insurance Claim

Written by Jeremy D. Earle, JD

August 12, 2022

Best Car Accident Attorneys in Colorado Springs

After a car accident, the notes you take may dramatically improve the strength and value of your insurance claim.

It’s critical to jot down all you can remember about the accident while it’s still fresh in your memory. Details that aren’t in the police accident report may hint at the other driver’s guilt based on what you observed and heard after the impact.

Keep taking notes throughout your rehabilitation. Your notes will offer a vivid picture of your anguish and suffering, bolstering your compensation claim.

THE IMPORTANCE OF TAKING NOTES AFTER A CAR ACCIDENT

It is up to you or your injury lawyer to show the insurance company that you were hurt and that their insured is a fault.

To properly negotiate a personal injury claim, good note-taking and organizing abilities are required. A greater settlement offer will be made if you have written proof of crucial facts, statements, and how your injuries have impacted your life.

Begin jotting your notes as soon as you are able. Don’t stress about trying to figure out what’s “essential.” Everything you know about the accident and how it affected your life is crucial. Don’t forget anything.

What you see What you hear What you say

What you do should all be included in your notes.

Include how you felt during the accident and how you felt throughout treatment and recovery in your notes. Describe how the accident and your injuries made you feel terrified, intimidated, irritated, disappointed, sad, disturbed, grief-stricken, apprehensive, or any other emotional side effects.

It’s OK to write about being upset or irritated, but don’t include material that might be used against you in your notes after an accident, such as rants, insults, or name-calling.

Notes used to support your car insurance claim might be brought into evidence and

 

reviewed by the judge, jury, and counsel for the at-fault motorist.

Good notes may make the difference between mediocre and big personal injury compensation.

AFTER AN ACCIDENT, WHAT SHOULD YOU WRITE?

You may gather a lot of the critical information and evidence you’ll need to show the other driver’s wrongdoing at the accident site.

Your notes on the events leading up to the accident, as well as what transpired at the site, might also assist you to avoid charges that you were at fault for the accident or that you caused your injuries to worsen.

If the insurance company can establish you contributed even 1% to your injury, you may lose your entitlement to reimbursement in several jurisdictions.

IN THE RUN-UP TO THE CRASH

Make a list of everything you recall about the events leading up to the accident, including: The date, the time of day, and the weather

Your right-of-way at stop signs, traffic lights, and while driving along the road What you did to try to avoid the accident, or if there was no time to react

What you saw before the crash, such as if the other car was weaving, had no headlights, was speeding, the driver was on a cell phone, and so on

What happened during the crash, such as airbags deployed, roll-over, or you were knocked unconscious

Any damage to road signs, guardrails, or other solid objects

THOSE INVOLVED: PEOPLE AND CARS

Include basic details about the cars and individuals involved in the collision. This can assist you in recalling additional information that may establish the other motorist was at fault.

Almost every state requires drivers to disclose the following information: Contact information for the driver

Driver’s license number (if asked)

License plate number, make, model, and color of the car (company name and phone number)

You may not be able to ask for passengers’ names and contact information in the other car in all states, but you do have the right to write down what you see, hear, and smell.

Take note of what the other persons involved have to say, such as: Passengers’ apparent gender and approximate age

Visible injuries, or absence thereof The scent of alcohol or marijuana Odd or improper conduct

If a passenger gets rid of any belongings or departs the area quickly

Make careful to inform the investigating officer if you come across any possibly damning material. See your state’s Car Accident Guide for more particular information.

WITNESSES AND EMERGENCY RESPONDERS

Never decline medical treatment on the spot or wait to see how you’ll feel before seeking medical help. The insurance company will leap at the opportunity to reject your claim by claiming that the collision did not cause your injuries.

Make a list of any helpful persons or witnesses who were present at the accident site. You may not be in the best state to talk to anyone on the scene, so try to get as much information as you can while you can.

Take note of the following details regarding the rescuers: The paramedics’ names and contact information

The name of the fire or rescue company on the scene (in the same county, there may be multiple minor fire departments)

The names of the police officers, badge numbers, and the police report reference number

Witnesses who saw the accident and may have attempted to assist you are under no legal duty to provide you with their names or offer witness testimonies. If you come across a potentially useful witness, make a note of their contact information.

KEEPING TRACK OF YOUR PHYSICAL INJURIES

You won’t make a credible insurance claim unless you have medical documents and invoices that show you were injured.

The most crucial figure used to assess the worth of an accident claim is the number of your medical expenditures. Bills, on the other hand, do not convey the complete picture. Insurance companies will only cover “reasonable” medical costs.

After an accident, the records you keep about your medical care may assist you in arguing that your medical, chiropractic, dental, and physical therapy costs were reasonable and medically required.

Keep note of when you were in the hospital when you went to medical or therapy appointments and received in-home nursing care.

Make a list of the names of all the medical providers who treated you, as well as the following information:

How you were transported and the costs involved What you told the medical provider

What the provider told you about your current condition and the need for treatment Your medical prognosis, or what you can expect in the future.

The insurance company will calculate your specific damages by adding your medical bills, missed earnings, and any relevant costs.

Make thorough notes on the requirement for and expense of:

Canes, walkers, wheelchairs, shower chairs, boots, and slings are examples of assistive aids.

At-home accommodations, such as a hospital bed downstairs, bathroom safety rails, or a portable commode

Services you had to employ as a result of your accident, such as daycare, lawn care, or housekeeping

NOTES TO SUPPORT COMPENSATION FOR SUFFERING AND PAIN

There will be no medical records that represent the extent of your suffering, anguish, and mental misery.

Having documents and invoices from a mental health care provider for accident-related therapy can, however, help you make a stronger case for pain and suffering compensation. Your notes might support your claim even if you did not undergo mental health treatment.

Make sure your dated notes include specific information about: Pain levels

Medication side effects for pain, illness, or anxiety Sleep problems

Night terrors or bad nightmares

Distress caused by the incapacity to care for children or elderly parents • Embarrassment or embarrassment caused by others assisting with clothing, personal hygiene, or toileting

Suffering from depression and shame as a result of the loss of sexual capacity Grief at the death of a loved one as a result of an accident Concerns about money while you are unemployed

Long-term impairment or permanent injuries resulting from a car collision are worth much more than soft tissue or other minor injuries.

Don’t be afraid to talk about the consequences of lasting injury, whether you’re writing your notes or drafting notes for a loved one.

Make a list of the emotional repercussions of: Permanent scars

Multiple revision operations Traumatic brain injuries Amputations

Losing the ability to walk or use a limb Blindness

TRACKING COMMUNICATIONS TO PROTECT YOURSELF

Throughout the claims process, keep track of any interaction with the other driver’s insurance carrier.

Phone number and contact information Call Notes Create a contact page with the following  nformation:

Insurance company name and phone number Insurance policy number

Claim adjuster’s name and direct phone number Insurance claim number

If you have property damage and a bodily injury claim, you may have to deal with two separate adjusters and two distinct claim numbers.

Even if you have to leave a message, keep track of the date and time of every phone call you had with the insurance provider.

Who started the call Who do you talk with

The topic of your discussion A list of data they requested

 

Any settlement sums mentioned

Any additional information or observations (was the person-friendly, rude, pushy, or trying to trick you)

KEEPING A LOG OF WRITTEN COMMUNICATIONS

A page where you put the date, and a description of any communication you send or get from the insurance provider wouldn’t injury either.

Keep track of any contact with the insurance company, including: The insurer’s first notice letter

Medical permission paperwork Informational requests

KEEPING TRACK OF YOUR SETTLEMENT TALKS

If you’ve opted to settle your injury claim with the insurance company directly, you must preserve complete documents of any settlement discussions with the adjuster.

Written offers and counter-offers Telephone conversations

Details of the reasoning the adjuster uses to explain their offer should all be included in your settlement notes.

OBSERVATIONS FOR YOUR INJURY ATTORNEY

If you’ve suffered significant injuries, you’ll need the help of an expert attorney to recover the full value of your injury claim, particularly in terms of pain and suffering. Without counsel, insurance companies are known for awarding smaller payouts to seriously wounded plaintiffs.

Bring your accident notes and any other proof you’ve gathered to your first interview with a personal injury attorney. The information you’ve collected will aid the attorney in assessing your claim more accurately.

Take detailed notes throughout your legal appointment to assist you in determining whether or not the attorney is a suitable match for you. Most accident lawyers provide a free consultation, allowing you to meet with many before making a selection.

Warrior Car Accident Lawyers

1902 W. Colorado Ave., Suite 100

Colorado Springs, CO 80904

719-300-1100

Free Consultation

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