It pays to be organized, especially when you’re dealing with something as procedural and dependent upon documentation as a personal injury claim. If your papers are not in order, you may not be able to reference important information at crucial moments – for instance, when you’re presenting your side of the story to the insurance adjuster and need evidence to corroborate certain elements. Also, only by maintaining a well-organized file will you be able to notice gaps in your documentation, allowing you to remedy them before it’s too late.
Notes also play a crucial role in organizing your claim. They help to remind you of what transpired in the talks between you and the insurance adjuster or other involved parties, and can be used to resolve disputes should they arise. It is important to take notes whenever necessary throughout the course of your claim.
Method of Filing
Invest a few dollars in a large accordion-style folder, preferably one with many dividers inside. Each section should have a label, but if not, you can purchase them separately. You should have one section for each category of documentation related to your claim. This will enable you to spend time on the more vital aspects of your claim – and not on shuffling through unmanageable piles of documents.
File Sections and Contents
To optimize ease of use and access for your documentation, organize your file as follows:
- Property Damage – Repair invoices, towing bills, and receipts or estimates for damaged personal items
- Correspondence – Notification letter to the at-fault party and their insurance company, the insurance company’s reservation of rights letter, letters to all medical providers, all correspondence between you and the adjuster, your demand letter, and all other miscellaneous correspondence
- Medical Expenses – Bills from all health care providers in chronological order, with the most recent on top
- Medical Records – Admitting charts, doctors’ notes, test results, prescriptions, and medical narratives
- Wage Verification – Employer letter and any other verification of your lost wages
- Witness Information – Contact info for witnesses and copies of their written statements, all organized in alphabetical order
- Photographs – Photos of your injury and other relevant damages (make sure to write information on the back of each photo detailing the date the picture was taken, who took it, and what it represents)
- Notes – Concise, dated entries about your communications with parties of interest, offers and counteroffers, and other important details about the settlement process
Additionally, you should maintain a separate calendar and check it every day. Keep track of all medical appointments and attend them religiously. Also, mark the dates for appointments with the adjuster as soon as they are made. This way you’ll be able to hold the adjuster accountable for his or her commitments.
Get Help from a Qualified Attorney
Wilshire Law Firm is a full service personal injury law firm, specializing in major accident, catastrophic injury, and wrongful death cases. If you or someone you love has been injured due to the negligence of another party, please don’t hesitate to contact us for immediate assistance. We have collected more than $100 MILLLION in settlements and verdicts on behalf of our clients, and can help you obtain full and fair compensation for your losses. To learn more about your rights and best options for recovery, call us toll-free at (800) 522-7274.