“If I Could Turn Back Time…I’d Have Taken Some Pictures.”

Sometimes, injury claims are difficult to prove due to lack of evidence, or conflicting accounts of what happened.

Here are 6 tips for what to do if you (or someone you are with) gets injured:

1.  Take lots of pictures.  As the old adage goes “a picture is worth 1000 words.”  Unless you are living in the stone age, you have a phone with a camera in your pocket or purse.  If you slipped and fell, take pictures of whatever caused you to fall.  If you were in a car accident, take a photo showing the position of the cars before they get moved. If you are cut, bruised, scraped, etc., take photos of your injuries.  I could go on and on, but you get the idea.

2.  Identify possible witnesses.  If there is anyone around who sees your accident, if at all possible, get their names and telephone numbers.

3.  Be sure the accident/injury is documented in writing. Usually after a car wreck, the police will make a written report. Be sure the officer has a clear understanding of how the accident happened. If you get hurt in some other way, say perhaps at a store or business, be sure that the owner or manager writes a report.  Make sure the report is accurate, and for the love of Pete, GET A COPY!

4.  Don’t say you are not hurt if you really are.   This goes along with No. 3.  You don’t want a written accident report to say that you were not injured, if you actually were injured.  If you are hurting at all, tell the police officer, or whoever is taking the report what hurts.  Don’t be afraid that you might sound like a complainer…just be honest. Even if you think you are fine, you may find yourself feeling not so fine the next day or so. Unless you are 100% certain that you are not hurt at all, don’t say that you are not hurt.

5.  See a doctor immediately.  Don’t try to be a hero.  If you are hurting, don’t hesitate to let an ambulance take you to the emergency room.  If you don’t need an ambulance, still get yourself to a doctor or ER right away.  The longer you wait to see a doctor, the harder it is to prove that your pain or injury is related to the accident.

6.  Tell the doctor you were hurt in an accident.  This goes along with No. 5.  You want for your medical records to document the fact that you were in an accident, and what injuries stemmed from that accident.  If you don’t tell the doctor you were in an accident, that fact may be omitted from your medical records.  That could be very bad for your claim if your accident and injuries are disputed, or not well-documented in some other fashion.

Sometimes, some of these options are not available.  But the better your case can be documented on the front end, the better.  I hope this was helpful.