Photo by August de Richelieu
Over 4.4 million serious car accident injuries are recorded annually. Such accidents not only cause physical pain but emotional and financial damage as well. Accident victims suffer a lot of challenges as a result of the accident.
To help deal with the financial burden that comes with the loss of job, property, high medical bill, and more, car accident injury victims opt to hire personal injury lawyers to help pursue injury claims.
When meeting with attorneys, there are several documents that you need to carry with you. Your attorney will use these documents to prove your claim.
Here are some of the documents that you should have:
1. Photos and Videos of the Accident Scene
Even though evidence of the damage to your car is not a clear indicator of injuries sustained in the crash, insurance companies at times use minor damages to property to justify low offers.
If you were involved in more than a fender bender, you must take several pictures and videos of your car and the scene of the accident. The pictures will give your attorney an idea of how the crash happened and how to argue your case.
It is impossible to remember all the information about the scene of the accident after some time. That is why taking several pictures or recording videos is very necessary. Ensure that your photographs or videos have a time stamp.
Give your attorney any other information that you collected or exchanged with the other driver like telephone numbers, names, car information, driver’s license numbers, and addresses.
2. Medical Records
Your medical records, receipts, and pictures of your injuries are some of the most important documents that you should have. These documents prove that you were injured and show how much you spent on the injuries. Show medical records to your personal injury lawyer to give them a starting point for the statute of limitations.
Keep all your medical-related documents safely, including prescriptions, and medical procedures or surgeries that you had to go through as a result of the accident.
Your medical records should include a list of all doctors or medical providers you have seen after the crash.
3. Police Reports
Whenever an accident occurs, police are always among the first responders. While at the scene, they record the complainant’s statements, take pictures, record witness statements, and take more details of the scene.
It is also the police’s responsibility to give a preliminary view of the cause of the accident and determine the at-fault driver. That is why it is essential to call the police after a car accident and also have a copy of their report.
Police reports are necessary because they give accurate information from a trusted authority.
4. Insurance Information
In as much as laws and policies concerning insurance vary according to states, it is mandatory to have a valid insurance cover. That is why you need to exchange insurance information with the other driver after an accident.
If you do not meet the set insurance standards in the state where the accident happened, it can be used against you. However, if the other driver has no valid insurance, it can work to your advantage.
Your insurance information will also help prove that you have paid the car insurance premium. Give your lawyer copies of checks or bank statements that show that you are up to date with your payment.
If there are any letters that you have received from the auto insurance company concerning the accident, remember to share them with your lawyer.
5. Citations and Fines
Drivers get fined if, for example, they were speeding, distracted, driving under the influence of an intoxicating substance like alcohol or drugs, or driving unsafely at the time of the accident. They can also receive citations if they violate the traffic rules.
You need to have the records of any citations or fines and give them to your lawyers so that they are prepared and know how to approach your case.
6. Witnesses Reports
One of the things that you need to do if you have been involved in a car accident is to try and collect statements from witnesses. When collecting the statements, do not forget to record witnesses’ contact information so that you are able to reach them if necessary.
Give your lawyer the statements and the contact information because witnesses can also help paint a clear picture of what took place or help determine who was responsible for the accident.
7. Financial Records
If you have lost your ability to earn a living or lost your wages because of the injuries sustained after a car accident, you might be entitled to some compensation. However, you will need to prove to the at-fault insurance company or the court that you suffered a pay cut or cannot resume your usual job.
Put together your financial records, including your paychecks, recent tax returns, contract letters, and other necessary documents. These documents can prove that you have lost money, your job, a contract, missed work and suffered a pay cut, or that your business suffered some loss while nursing your injuries.
Do not forget to include proof of any expenses incurred as a result of the accident because they are also part of your financial records. Give all this information to your lawyer to help them calculate your compensation.
Have These Documents with You When Meeting with Attorneys
Meeting with attorneys is the first step towards filing a successful injury claim. Therefore, not only should you make sure that you have all the necessary documents with you, but you should also hire the right attorney who will help you win the case. These documents will help your attorneys understand your case and come up with the best approach to win.
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