If you have been the victim of a car accident, it’s important to immediately gather as much evidence as possible. The more comprehensive your car accident evidence is, the greater chance you have of establishing the validity of your claim and receiving fair compensation. This will require documentation to support your claim. The more you have, the easier it is for your attorney to represent your interests with the insurance company.
If you have been in a car accident and are uncertain of what documentation you should obtain, below details what car accident evidence can best establish your case.
Contact Information of Witnesses
When you have been in an accident, you should collect the names and contact information of any witnesses, including passengers in all vehicles involved. An attorney will need this information to gather official statements from witnesses. This will help determine who is at fault.
It’s also best to call the police. Help may be needed to address any injuries or damage, but even in a minor accident, it’s beneficial to have an official police report. A police report at the time of the accident will further determine which driver is legally at fault.
Details from the Scene of the Accident
Accidents are scary and can be disorienting with the stress and trauma of the incident as well as any physical damage or injuries sustained. Even though it can be difficult to think of everything in the moment, it may be harder to remember important details later. In an effort to keep the facts straight, you should record as much evidence as possible from the scene of the accident. This includes taking photos of the accident and taking notes of what you remember and what was witnessed as soon as you can after the accident.
It’s also important to gather necessary information from any other drivers involved, including their names, addresses, driver’s license numbers, insurance information, and vehicle plate numbers. If it’s a company vehicle or they are driving for an employer, make sure to document the company name and contact information.
Photo or Video Documentation
Photographic evidence or videos will help with presenting a clear claim. Make sure to document any damage or injuries. Take pictures of the accident and any damage to your car. If you or anyone else in the car has suffered injuries as a result of the accident, make sure to take photos of these injuries. It will also help to keep a written record of these injuries and damages, corroborating the photos.
Records of Damage
A portion of fair compensation will include vehicle damage. In order for your attorney to determine what is fair compensation and to support the validity of your claim, keep all documents concerning vehicle damage. Keep copies of receipts for car repairs and rentals.
If you recently upgraded components of your car prior to the accident, provide copies of receipts detailing the work done and showing the date preceding the accident. This could include work on the engine or recently replacing the vehicle’s tires. This increases the value of your car at the time of the accident and reflects what compensation your attorney will fairly seek on your behalf.
Medical Records and Proof of Payment
If you have suffered an injury as a result of a car accident, it’s important to receive timely medical treatment. Not only is it critical to recovery, but it also proves the extent of your injuries and that nothing in the claim is falsified. Keep careful records of all treatment received as well as documents noting the nature and extent of your injuries. Make sure to also include all receipts for payments made. These records will document the medical expenses as well as the extent of your injury.
Once you have finished your treatment, request a complete history of these medical records. It’s important to request copies throughout the process, but once you have received treatment, you can obtain comprehensive records. These may include medical bills, diagnostic images, medications, and other applicable treatments or care.
Additionally, keep written accounts of your injuries, experiences, and treatments. Who did you see? What was your treatment? What were you required to do post-visit to aid recovery? Were you required to pay anything? What was your experience like? Journaling about the events of the accident, your experiences, and any damage or injuries will help you keep a clear timeline and record of events. It will aid in building your case, as well as prevent you from forgetting important details.
Car accident victims may experience “pain and suffering.” This includes physical injury as well as mental pain and suffering. This is an important component of a personal injury claim and calculates in the claim settlement. Keeping a written journal of things such as loss of sleep or appetite, depression, difficulty in returning to work, or any related pain and suffering will help determine fair compensation and a better resolution.
Proof of Lost Wages
If a car accident has resulted in missing days of work, then you may be entitled to compensation for lost wages and income. Gather pay stubs, W-2s, and any other information that shows missed days of work and what compensation you typically receive as part of your car accident evidence.
Proof of Burden
The burden of proof lies with the person seeking damages. If you are the injured party, then you must prove the other driver was at fault. All of the preceding evidence will help prove the validity of your claim.
After experiencing a car accident, an attorney will guide you in filing a claim and ensuring you have all the proper documentation. They will defend your interests with the insurance company, as well as present your case in court if a desirable settlement is not reached.
The experts at Warren Allen LLP offer sound legal advice and representation to help you receive the best resolution possible. Contact our firm today and learn what your options are. We are here to help you receive fair compensation so you can focus on recovery.