When they arrive for their first appointment with an Atlanta personal injury lawyer, many people do not bring all the necessary documents to allow a complete a case evaluation. Worse still, when it comes to preparing their personal injury claim, they do not have all the proofs that justify the cause of their injuries and the amount of money they seek in compensation.
There is no doubt in the mind of the Atlanta personal injury lawyer that you are honest and you have a valid case. However, for an insurance company, any missing piece of information is a justification to deny your personal injury claim. The sad truth is that you have to fight hard to prove your injuries and economic damages. For insurance companies, the only thing that matters is their bottom line, not what is just and fair.
Basic Prerequisites for a Valid Personal Injury Claim in Georgia
When it comes to proving a case, personal injury victims must be able to show that:
- The at-fault party owed them a duty of care
- Through negligence, the at-fault party breached this duty
- The victim suffered an accident due to this breach of duty
- The accident resulted in injuries and economic damages.
This is true everywhere across the US. Thus, an Atlanta personal injury lawyer must have more than your word when they start negotiating your claim with an insurance adjuster.
Considering that the state of Georgia applies a modified comparative fault principle to determine the eligibility to file a personal injury claim, solid and unbiased evidence is the only way of proving your case. If an adjuster determines that you were more than 49% at fault for your accident, then your claim is automatically denied.
What Types of Evidence Will Your Atlanta Personal Injury Lawyer Need?
Defending a personal injury claim without evidence is like going into battle empty handed. Even the most experienced Atlanta personal injury lawyer will need the following:
1. Official Accident Report
If you were injured in a car accident, you will need a copy of the police report prepared at the accident scene. You can obtain it online by filling in this request form. If you suffered a slip and fall injury in a mall or supermarket, they usually fill in an accident form. Be careful and read it before signing it. Some reports include a waiver in fine print, stating that you give up the right to take legal action for your accident.
2. Medical Reports
Medical reports are crucial for any personal injury claim. You should seek medical attention as soon as possible after your accident. In severe traffic accidents, the ambulance will take you straight to the nearest hospital to treat your injuries.
You should get copies from all these reports, including the initial evaluation prepared by the ambulance crew. These documents serve several purposes:
- Establish that you suffered the injuries in the respective accident
- Determine the severity and extent of your injuries
- Indicate the recommendations for future treatments and therapies.
Looking over these records and talking to your doctor will help the Atlanta personal injury lawyer determine the value of your current and future medical care costs, as well as the possibility of adding loss of earning capacity to your economic damages.
3. Bills and Receipts
Economic damages are not a general estimation of how much money you lost. They represent a precise calculation, adding up all the bills and receipts for:
- The ambulance ride
- The time spent in hospital
- Refilling prescriptions
- Rehabilitation and physical therapy
- Repair works or replacement of your car.
Your lawyer will need them to evaluate your economic losses and will also attach copies from all these bills to your personal injury claim letter. Insurance companies will usually rely on the fact that you forget to add all the relevant bills and receipts in order to delay or deny your claim.
4. Photos and Videos
Unfortunately, many accident victims rely only on official reports and witnesses to prove their case. In reality, police officers may overlook an essential element at the accident scene. As for witnesses, they may forget or only see a part of the entire event that caused your injuries.
You should always make sure to get your own evidence, in the form of photos and videos taken with your mobile phone. Cover the entire general area around the accident site, as well as your own injuries, if they are visible. In many cases, we discovered a critical piece of evidence in one such photo or video, allowing us to secure the maximum compensation available for the respective personal injury claim.
Eyewitnesses are still valuable, even if they will not always remember everything. Since nearly everyone carries a mobile phone with a camera, it is also possible that some of them actually recorded your accident.
In general, the sooner an Atlanta personal injury lawyer talks to them after the event, the higher the chances are that they give an accurate and complete description. This is just one of the reasons why you should hire a lawyer as soon as possible after your accident.
Let an Experienced Atlanta Law Firm Win Your Personal Injury Claim
H Groves Law is your best ally if you were injured by someone else’s negligence. We will analyze all the evidence available and build an airtight case. Once we start negotiating with an insurance adjuster, the only result is success and securing the fair compensation you deserve.
However, you must remember to bring all the evidence listed above when you arrive for your free case review at H Groves Law. This will allow an Atlanta personal injury lawyer to have a clear picture of what happened and start building a solid case in your favor. This is also the ammunition we need when an insurance adjuster tries to devalue or deny your personal injury claim. Call as soon as possible to schedule your initial appointment and win your settlement: 770-329-1868!