Documents Needed for Resolving Personal Injury Claims

Whenever one is injured by the negligence (or intentional conduct) of another, the first priority is always to treat injuries.  Health always takes priority over concerns about potential claims against other parties.  At the same time, it’s important to keep a level head about documents that will be needed later. Without documents, claims can quickly devolve into a “he said/she said”, with insurance companies unwilling to resolve through settlement and potential major evidence problems with a lawsuit.  What are the documents needed?

        For purposes of your attorney attempting to resolve a claim with the liable party’s insurance company, the first key document is one evidencing the incident causing the injury.  In a vehicle wreck, this would normally be the FR10 document completed by the law enforcement officer responding to the scene (which is why it’s always wise to request an officer complete an FR10 when another party is liable in a wreck).  The officer can also complete a similar document which is a formal accident report, depending on the accident. This provides the first documented evidence that something happened, and it is tied to the next set of documents to obtain.

      When an accident has resulted in an injury, it is always best for a future claim to have documents evidencing evaluation and/or treatment as close to the accident as possible.  EMS will normally offer to transport to the nearby Emergency Room, and it is wise to consider accepting.  If not, it is still important to have someone drive you to the Emergency Room and keep the resulting documentation from the Emergency Room.  Ensure the treating provider includes on the documents the basic information about the incident.  This will later show the insurance company and potentially a jury that the injury was connected to the incident:  The date of the treatment will be the same day as the incident, and the document records the incident as the cause of the injury.

       Beyond document(s) showing the incident and the resulting treatment, it’s important to obtain billing information associated with the treatment. In most cases, insurance will cover the costs of evaluation/treatment (with a potential minor deductible) and will pay far less than the actual medical bill.  Regardless of what the insurance company pays, or how much you pay with the deductible, the actual medical bill will be the key document used to assess the value of the claim. The initial emergency room bills for evaluation and treatment are rarely questioned as to being necessary.  Some follow-on treatment, for example, chiropractic, might be viewed differently and require more proof of necessity, but the ER bills are usually solid.  

       With the FR10 and/or accident report, medical notes about the treatment, and medical bills associated with the notes, the claim is ready to go to the liable party’s insurance company.  At that point, it just becomes a question of proof of liability (which the FR10 or accident report holding the other party liable helps greatly) and the settlement amount beyond the medical bills covering pain and suffering and potentially lost wages.  Your attorney should be able to resolve the case with the insurance company or have what he needs to take it to trial.

Call The Bill Connor Law Firm Today at 803 937 5571