If you have been injured by someone else and plan to file a personal injury claim in North Carolina, you will likely need several different documents and pieces of information in order to file your claim. If you are planning to file your claim yourself, we recommend having a free consultation with an experienced personal injury lawyer first. A North Carolina personal injury lawyer can help make sure you understand:
- What documents and information are required as part of a personal injury claim
- How the insurance company will value your claim (i.e., how they will decide how much your claim is worth)
- Common mistakes people making when filing a personal injury claim
- And more
Documents and Information You’ll Need for a Personal Injury Claim
- DESCRIPTION of HOW the INCIDENT OCCURRED – At some point, you will have to describe your version of the incident if you were injured as a result of someone else’s negligence and you plan to file a claim. That said, what you say can have a huge effect on the outcome of your claim. It is important to tell the truth, but insurance companies will often attempt to get you to say something to contradict yourself and/or that is based on an inaccurate or incomplete memory. When people are involved in a traumatic incident and are injured, memories of what happened and how it happened can be blurry. Blurry memories are often the result of time passing, adrenaline and lots of activity at the scene of the accident, concussions or other injuries, loss of consciousness, and more. Before you talk with an insurance company, defendant, investigator or anyone else regarding your incident and injuries, contact an experienced personal injury attorney first.
- DEFENDANT and INSURANCE COMPANY NAMES – In order to file a claim, you will need to know the name(s) of the person(s) who injured you and any insurance companies involved. Sometimes this information is listed on the accident report; other times, this information has to be uncovered through investigation, research, or litigation. An experienced personal injury attorney can help look for all possible sources of recovery so that you can be fully compensated for what you’ve been through, your pain and suffering, your injuries, and your medical and other expenses.
- ACCIDENT or INCIDENT REPORT – If someone is injured at work or in a wreck or other incident, an accident or incident report is usually created by one or more entities. If a police or sheriff’s office responds to the scene of the incident, they will generally create their own accident or incident report. If the incident happened in a store, workplace, construction site, or some other facility, they may have their own incident report. You will want to get a copy of their incident report to show the details of the incident, date of the incident, and person(s) involved. There may be other helpful information listed as well such as witness names and contact information. Certain investigative agencies, like the Raleigh Police Department, make their accident reports available online to the public, free of charge. Other agencies may charge for their reports. Still others may claim that the reports are privileged and refuse to release them without a subpoena or court order. An experienced personal injury lawyer can help get copies of any accident or incident reports related to your incident and injuries.
- MEDICAL RECORDS and BILLS – If you were injured and plan to file a personal injury claim for your injuries and medical bills, the insurance company will ask you for copies of your medical bills and records. Often, the insurance company will provide you with a document called a release. They will ask you to sign the release, and then they will order your records and bills themselves. This can be problematic, though, because these releases are often very broad and open-ended. This means that, by signing the release, you may be giving the insurance company permission to order your medical records from 10 years ago, or records that are completely unrelated to the injuries you recently sustained. Before you sign a medical release from an insurance company, contact us.
- PHOTOS and/or VIDEOS – If you have been injured, photos and videos are a great way to document personal and physical damages such as damages to a car, injuries, surgical scars, and more. Photos and/or videos of the scene of the incident can also help document the scene and any evidence at the scene. If you have photos or videos from your incident, be sure to save those in a safe place. There may be other photos or videos that could be helpful to your claim such as periodic photos of how your injuries or surgical wounds are progressing, videos of how your day-to-day life is different given your injuries, and more. An experienced personal injury lawyer can help you understand what photos could be helpful for documenting your injuries and recovery.
At Burton Law Firm, we provide a free consultation for those who have been injured through no fault of their own. We’ll listen to you, take the time to answer your questions, and help you understand your legal rights and options. If you decide to hire us, we’ll take a lot of the work off of your shoulders because we’ll handle things like collecting your medical bills and records, talking with the insurance companies, and more. If you have questions or just want to talk with a personal injury lawyer about your case, give us a call at (833) 623-0042.