The following points will be covered by the investigator in taking claimant’s statement. As a claimant for a personal injury case, it is important for you to remember these points: Having a local lawyer will be a big help for your case.
o Name of address
o Social Security Number
o Occupation and Wages
o Past Work History
o Time, Place, and manner of accident
o Immediate effects
o When first report made and to whom
o Nature and extent of injury
o Medical treatment received: names and addresses of every doctor; hospital, X-rays (if any).
o Present complaints.
o Past history: operations; accidents, periods of disability (if any) and compensation received (if any).
o Period of disability claimed
o Outside benefits received: health and accident policies; group insurance benefits; union benefits or fraternal society benefits
The taking of a proper statement is the most important feature of an investigation. The statement is an indispensable part of a claim file. This duty should be apprehended with thought and cars by the investigator.
Before going out on the case and before the claimant is interviewed, the investigator will acquaint himself with the nature of the claim as shown in the report of the employer or insurance broker or agent as well as with the extent of injury as shown in the medical report. If he has any questions he should discuss the issues with the personal injury attorney before he begins his investigation.
On the other hand, color photographs are often used by plaintiffs’ attorneys so that the injuries can be better seen, especially if there are contusions, skin tears, or black and blue marks.
This approach will also help expel a great amount of the resistance all claimants demonstrate when they are first contacted, a reaction which should not be resented because it is primarily an outgrowth of the inborn suspicion of all people.