What Is The Value Of Keeping A Record Of Damages?

How do injury victims get the money they deserve after an accident? In a perfect world, the insurance company would knock on their door and hand them a check that covers all of their physical damages -- their expenses, loss of work, and property destruction -- as well as compensate them for the pain, stress, and mental anguish that serious accidents can cause. Sadly, the real world is far from this ideal situation. As many catastrophic injury lawyers and victims can tell you, insurance companies are unlikely to be so accommodating.

Knowing this, if the worst happens what can you do to bring reality as close to our ideal situation as possible? How can you maximize your settlement, receiving the money you need to get back on your feet and live the life you deserve? The key to maximizing your settlement comes from keeping detailed and accurate accounts of all of your losses -- both economic and non-economic.

Recording The Damages From Your Injury Case

One of the cruel realities of dealing with personal injury cases in California is that they test you when you are at your weakest. Right as you are dealing with all the pressures of your injury is when you need to be preparing your case for the insurance company. One of the most important ways of doing this is making note of your damages in great detail.

Firstly, you should record your economic damages, such as medical bills, lost pay, tax returns, receipts for any purchases (including those paid for by the insurance company), services that you are unable to perform because of your injuries, and any loss of property. Basically, economic damages are any monetary costs that you have had to pay. Economic damages also include lost future wages and costs. It may be a good idea to hire an expert to calculate your expected lost earnings.

Also record non-economic damages, including things that cannot be easily summed up into money lost, such as the pain you've endured, both physical and emotional, and the stress from your accident. Humiliation and loss of companionship should also be noted. Lastly, there are opportunities you may have lost, or miss out on because of your injury: trips you were planning to take but can no longer and things of that nature.

As you make note of all these things, it's important to stay honest. Exaggerating your damages can completely disqualify your case in the eyes of a jury. It is far better for your case to state the truth, and let the jury decide how much you deserve.

Advice To Protect Your Personal Injury Claim

If you would like to read more on this subject, or get more advice about managing your personal injury case, order my book The Seven Fatal Mistakes That Can Wreck Your California Personal Injury Claim. It contains an entire chapter about recording your damages, as well as other vital information for anyone who has been in an injury accident.

For more information how to be well orangized and keep track of your records, please visit our "Do It Yourself Car Accident Claim" page.

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Disclaimer: The legal information presented at this site should not be construed to be formal legal advice, nor the formation of an attorney-client relationship. Any results set forth here were dependent on the facts of that case and the results will differ from case to case.

Bisnar | Chase serves all of California. In addition, we represent clients in other states through our associations with local law firms. Through the local firm, we will be admitted to practice law in their state, pro hac vice, meaning "for this particular occasion." When in our client's interest, we employ the local law firm (at no additional cost to our client) to assist us with routine court appearances and discovery proceedings to more efficiently pursue our client's cause.

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