When you become aware of an injury to your child, you should obviously get medical attention as soon as feasible. After your child’s condition has stabilized, it is important to get into ‘fact collection mode’.
In fact collection mode, you are beginning to collect information about the incident, and they type of injuries your child sustained. Doing some preliminary work early on, will help ensure valuable evidence is protected to maximize the chances of a successful recovery on your child’s behalf.
While you may suggest that your child’s situation is so vivid that you will never forget– don’t assume you will remember all the facts. As time goes on, your memory will begin to fade. The following steps will help you organize your thoughts during a stressful time and to give an attorney the information he needs to work best on your behalf.
Despite the urge to block out the unpleasant facts and circumstances leading to an injury, much of the information listed below should be obtained as soon after an incident as feasible. The following information will prove to be valuable in both assessing the facilities responsibility and potentially as evidence to be used at trial.
1) Take Photographs
Take pictures of the physical injuries themselves, the area where the incident took place and if possible, the people or instrumentalities involved. In cases involving particularly gruesome medical conditions no medical record can do justice to what your child experienced. Use a real camera as opposed to a camera-phone as the photos will be better quality.
Similarly, is is a good idea to take photos of the equipment / defective condition where your child was injured as many defective machines / conditions are repairs soon after an incident.
2) Take Some Notes
You don’t need to write a novel or minute-by-minute diary, but write down as much information about the incident or events as you can remember. Write some more. Details can be particularly helpful in the course of litigation as your child may not be able to appreciate many of the specifics. Concentrate on: names, locations, times, conditions, doctors names, and medications.
3) Keep a copy of the incident report / police report
An incident report completed following an incident may be offered to you following an event where a child was injured. If it is offered to you, keep a copy as many reports may not be available in the future without order of a court. Frequently, incident reports are particularly important because they will include details and statements made soon after an incident.
4) Request a copy of your child’s medical chart
The medical chart from doctor and / or hospital is crucial to determining what a facility may have done or failed to do that resulted in injury or death to your child. If your child sustained an injury that resulted in subsequent medical care at a hospital, these records will be important as well.
5) Put together a chronology
This does not need to be one’s life story. However, if a condition developed over time or there were multiple treaters, it is important get the correct names and general dates of admission at health care facilities. The names of doctors who provided medical can be helpful as well.
6) Save the physical evidence of your child’s injury
Of course, no one wants the physical reminders of a horrific event– a bike accident, dog bite or other similarly graphic incident. Nonetheless, all things related to the incident– your child’s clothes, shoes, bills…bike, are indeed important evidence that may prove to be very important at a later date.
7) Get medical attention
Don’t just take your child to a doctor or clinic because your neighbor says so. However, if your child is injured in an incident it is absolutely crucial– both for their own physical well-being as well as well as from a legal perspective to seek timely medical care. Seek out specialist when needed as they are frequently in a better position to diagnose– and treat medical conditions.
Don’t get discouraged. While the above steps can be important towards preserving important materials related to your child’s personal injury case, they may not be feasible in all circumstances.
An experienced child injury lawyer will be able to sort through the materials and determine what information is relevant to your case. Further, a law office that regularly handles personal injury and medical malpractice cases involving children should be able to access much of the above information with the use of properly executed medical authorizations. Meeting with an attorney soon after an incident will provide the best opportunity to secure information relevant to your child’s case.