Write it down!
We all think we can remember events as they happen, but the reality is that our memories fade over weeks, months and especially years. Things we thought we could never forget, eventually become difficult to remember with reasonable precision.
If you have been involved in an accident, it is important to keep a diary of events. This will greatly assist your solicitor when preparing your claim.
Write down things such as:
- The circumstances of your accident;
- All of the body parts you believe have been injured;
- Which doctor you saw and when;
- Restrictions that you endure as a result of your injuries;
- Domestic chores you can no longer do or struggle with.
When dealing with the list of injuries and disabilities, I often recommend that my clients start from the top of their head and work their way down. You should also note when injuries and/or pain develop or subside (for example if you have suffered an injury to a leg, knee or ankle, and you start feeling severe pain in your back several weeks or months later). If something in particular caused that injury or pain to develop or become exacerbated, make a note of how it came to your attention and when.
It can be difficult to remember which doctors you might have consulted and for what reason. Keeping a list of your treating practitioners and even doctors you might have seen on behalf of the insurance company or your legal representative will definitely come in handy when trying to piece together the puzzle of your treatment history from the time of your accident.
During the course of each claim for compensation, your solicitor will prepare or have you prepare a statement, detailing your history. Apart from background information such as an outline of your education and employment history, it will be necessary to go through the timeline of your accident, subsequent treatment, any return to work, and ongoing disabilities and restrictions. When the time comes to prepare your claim, your solicitor will be grateful to have a written outline of these topics, and will therefore be in a better position to prepare it.
Writing down events relevant to your claim will not only assist your solicitor in preparing the claim, but may also assist you in proving your case if it is or becomes disputed by the defendant. Some cases boil down to “he said / she said”, which can be very difficult to prove on the balance of probabilities. If you have some written (including photographic) evidence of what you are trying to prove, this might just assist in the getting the balance to weigh in your favour.
Being involved in an accident, no matter in what circumstances, is an extremely trying event and here at Stacks Goudkamp we are very sensitive to that fact.
If you have been injured and are asking yourself what you should do next, contact Stacks Goudkamp on 1800 25 1800 for a free, no-obligation assessment of your claim, or alternatively make an online enquiry.
Written by Cali Baldwin.
Cali Baldwin is a Senior Associate in Ian Chipchase and Anna Tavianatos’ Practice Group. Cali assists Ian and Anna with a variety of matters, including workers compensation matters, motor vehicle accident claims and superannuation claims.