It can be hard figuring out what documents you need to keep track of in order to make a solid case after a car accident. Being in a car accident is a stressful event even if it didn't result in injury. Having these documents will benefit you when talking with the insurance companies. If you were injured during your accident, then your claim is even more reliant on presenting evidence that the other driver was at fault. It also bodes well to show evidence of said injuries as proof of pain and suffering.
Once it's time to settle your claim, your lawyer will put together a demand package outlining your claim to send to the insurance company. They will need to know a lot of information surrounding the accident. The documents you’ll need can become taxing to find, especially when you don’t even know where to start.
So what documents should you bring to your injury law attorney to help strengthen your claim? Here is a list of 8 of the most important things you’ll need:
If it's not too late, photograph everything. This includes the wreck, your injuries, and any other damages. Pictures are a great way to visually show the details of an accident. They are also typically timestamped and geotagged which proves legitimacy. To make them easier to find in the long run, create a folder to store all your pictures in. Pictures can show the scene immediately following the collision, pairing well with verbal statements and making a stronger case.
2. Copy of Police Report
When the police came to the scene, they should have drafted an incident report. This report includes information like:
- The officer’s opinion on the cause of the accident
- A sketch depicting the positioning of the pedestrians and vehicles in the wreck
To get a copy of the police report, you will need to provide details of the accident (date, location, people involved, officer at the scene) to the police agency that arrived at the scene. With this information, you can request a copy of the report.
At the scene, the responding officers should have taken statements from all parties involved in the wreck as well as witness statements if there were any. These statements should be found in the police report. The insurance companies may also seek their own statements from witnesses. You have the right to copies of all of these statements from the police and insurance companies.
4. Tickets and Fines
It is possible that a ticket or fine was given to the guilty party at the scene. If so, that information can be found in the police report or by asking the local law enforcement officials. These tickets and/or fines can help show the insurance company that there should be no doubt about who is at fault.
5. Info Provided at Scene
You may have exchanged information with the other party involved in the accident. This information may include:
- Telephone numbers
- License plate number
- Insurance information
- Car information
There may also be camera footage of the accident. If you can get a hold of the recording, it can also help show the insurance company visual proof of what actions really took place.
6. Proof of Insurance
Proving proof of insurance to your personal injury lawyer is necessary because your policy will show how much coverage you have for your claim. You may be in a situation where the other party involved in the accident does not have insurance. If this is the case, don’t worry, a compensation claim can still be filed through your insurance company.
7. Medical Records and Bills
If you sustained injuries during the accident, you will need to gather the medical records and bills that came with that. These can include an ambulance ride, ER consultation, x-rays, prescriptions, etc. You should also look for a record of the doctor’s diagnosis. Don’t forget to also provide your personal injury lawyer with your health insurance or Medicare/Medicaid since these are likely what covered your medical bills.
8. Records of Loss of Money
On top of your medical bills, also include other related bills or proof of loss of money. If your injury required treatment or unpaid time off work, grab those records. The receipts and bills from your medical treatment show that you continuously sought out help. If you had to take time away from work, find documents showing the time you missed and how much money you lost. These records all show the insurance company how much compensation you deserve. Find any records relating to:
- Pain and suffering
- Lost Wages
- Property Loss
- Emotional Distress
How We Can Help
At Barfoot & Schoettker, we don’t just see you as a number. We want you to get the compensation you deserve after your accident. Don’t try to take on the insurance companies by yourself. Let us take them on for you. As a smaller firm, we can give you the personalized attention that you deserve. While you focus on recovering from your accident, we will settle your claim for you. Contact us today to set up a free and confidential consultation.