By Jedidiah McKeehan

Regardless of the extent of your injuries, a car accident can be very stressful. Dealing with a damaged vehicle and repairs is much easier than dealing with physical injuries and emotional issues. Remembering these five things can help to make your accident much less traumatic:

1) Keep a record of all expenses and days lost from work due to your injuries. Also, get written documentation from your employer verifying your missed work. This proof will enable you to claim lost earnings. If you’re having difficulty getting your employer to work with you, then your lawyer can assist in obtaining this documentation. If your injuries prevent you from returning to work or school, ask your doctor for a signed letter confirming that you cannot attend.

2) Keep track of time spent by friends and family caring for you and overseeing household and family obligations. If you must now pay someone to mow your lawn or drive you places, you can make those payments part of your claim. If possible, pay those individuals with a check so that you have documentation.

3) Keep all bills and receipts related to your accident. If you don’t save them, you may not be able to prove the amount of your damages. Be sure to save everything, including hospital charges, pharmacy bills, therapy bills, and all other bills associated with your accident. If you buy over-the-counter pain medication, heating pads, crutches, special clothing to fit over casts or braces, or similar items, you may be able to recoup these expenses. If you find such thorough documentation overwhelming, then you should hire an experienced attorney to help you sort, organize, and calculate the total of your medical bills. You don’t want to miss out on any potential reimbursement.

4) Know all your injuries. Injuries caused by accidents may not show symptoms for days or even weeks. Thus, in the days following your accident, you should avoid describing your injuries to the claims adjuster. Don’t give a statement to an adjuster unless you are confident about the status and healing progress of your injuries.

5) Keep a journal of your experiences, and pay close attention to the emotional toll of an accident. Record sleepless nights, pain levels, and limitations or restrictions from regular activities. Be sure to take note of special events, hobbies, and interactions with your loved ones that you missed because of the accident.

By investing a little time and effort before you’ve even had an accident, you can learn how to properly document and record the events related to an accident and save yourself money and potential headaches down the road.