The aftermath of a car accident can be as devastating as it can be expensive. In fact, the economic and societal harm from car accidents costs as much as $871 billion every year. You’ve had to deal with painful injuries, piling medical bills, emotional and mental trauma, possible disabilities, lost wages, and much more.
There is so much involved in filing a car accident claim that hiring a professional car accident attorney is the most important step you can take.
To build the best possible case for your car accident claim or personal injury lawsuit, there are certain documents for attorneys you need to have. These documents will help you prove your claim and get the best possible settlement or compensation for the party at fault.
It’s extremely important that you gather as much evidence as you possibly can about the car accident. For these reasons, we’ll help you understand what documents for attorneys you need to prove your case.
Why Do People Need to Gather These Documents for Attorneys?
During a car accident case, the more documents you have to prove your claim and support your car accident injuries and damages, the higher the chances of a fair settlement. If by any chance the car accident claim goes to court and becomes a civil lawsuit, you, as the person seeking compensation for injuries will have the burden of proof.
You will have to prove the other party was at fault and that you suffered injuries and incurred damages.
You will also have to show the extent of your car accident injuries and how they have impacted your life to maximize compensation. The burden of proof will also colour the insurance claim process, so you need evidence to back you up. Car accident evidence comes in many forms, such as medical bills, photos, witness statements, and more that we’ll look at below.
1. A Police Report
Right after the car accident, there might have been emergency respondents at the scene, and there is bound to be a police or accident report a few days later.
A police report is integral to your case because it contains critical information surrounding the car accident. It contains the date and time of the accident, any witness statements provided on that fateful day, and the insurance information of other involved parties.
This information is very important, and most people are advised to exchange insurance and contact information after an accident if they are in the right position to do so. It may be harder to track down the right insurance provider without the right documents containing this information.
If the police report contains the other party’s information, it will make it easy for your attorney to track them down and get the ball rolling.
2. Witness Statements
Witness statements are extremely important because they may have seen everything that led to the accident. They may know who was at fault or better, may have taken photos and videos of the accident. These would help you prove that the other party was at fault.
Even if they have no video or photographs to show, their statements could play a critical role in helping you prove your claim. If you gathered witness statements after the accident, you need to provide this evidence to your car accident attorney.
Your lawyer will track them down and talk to them if they have to. If your case goes to court, they may convince the witnesses to testify in court.
3. Tickets Relating to the Accident
If there’s one thing you need to understand about insurance companies it’s that they will always try to downplay the facts in order to give the lowest settlement possible, or none at all.
Insurance adjusters are especially very cunning and not to be trusted, because they do, and they will use anything you say against you. For this reason, you need everything, including tickets to help prove your case.
If the driver at fault received a citation for being involved in the accident, it will show the insurance company that there should be no doubt who caused the accident. It’s easy for your car accident attorney to find out whether the other driver received the citation. They’ll check the police report or the records at the local law enforcement office.
4. Photos and Videos
If your accident was not so severe and you had an opportunity to take photos of the aftermath, you need to present all that photo evidence to your attorney. Nowadays, videos are much easier to capture. If you were in a position to take one after the accident, it could go a long way into proving your case and getting you a fair settlement.
If not you, one of your passengers, or one of the witnesses may have taken video or photographs of the accident. It could have been pedestrians, emergency respondents, the insurance company, or people from other vehicles
You can even check the body shop where the cars got repaired and see whether they took photos of the cars before any repairs. Photos of the accident, your injuries, vehicle damages and the surrounding scene can help your case exponentially.
If you can get a hold of these photos and videos, you need to provide them to your attorney. With the facts of the case, the attorney will be in a better position to negotiate a better settlement.
5. Medical Records
It’s true that the more detailed your medical records are, the better for your car accident injury claim. The medical records need to show that your injuries were a result of the car accident and that you followed treatment and doctor’s advice about everything you needed.
Your medical records may be lengthy, depending on the amount of time you have been getting treatment for your car accident injuries. More so if you have had to go to multiple appointments and therapies.
They may also be expensive to retrieve, and your lawyer may need to get them from the hospital for you. However, showing medical records in your case is well worth the trouble. They’ll show the insurance company all the injuries you sustained, and that you truly deserve the compensation for those injuries.
It’s also vital for them to see that you have not missed any doctor appointment. This will prevent them from finding any loophole they could use to escape the claim.
6. Medical Bills
Your medical bills will show how much all those car accident injuries, pain, and suffering cost you. You need to provide your attorney with all the bills you have accumulated so far from all the medical providers you have seen so far. These are some of the most essential documents for attorneys to negotiate the right amount because they will show the extent of your losses due to the accident.
7. Your Work Schedule
The reason why you need to provide your lawyer with your work schedule is to show the days you’ve missed work, and lost wages, due to the injuries sustained after the accident. You need to document all the days you missed, and all the money you would have made during all that time. It’s essential for you to recoup these losses through the car accident claim settlement.
Telling the insurance company you missed a week or two of work is not sufficient enough, because they need proof. Ask your manager or work supervisor to outline the days you missed and the amount of money you lost.
8. Your Car Insurance Policy
Some of the most vital documents for attorneys to assess are insurance policies. Your attorney needs to assess whether you’re underinsured or how much insurance coverage you have.
The policy also shows all the exclusions, and you’d be surprised at the sheer number of those most policies have. If the responsible party doesn’t have sufficient coverage to pay for all your car accident injuries and damages, your lawyer may get your own insurance to pay for you.
9. Your Health Insurance Card
It’s most likely that your health insurance has been covering all the medical bills related to your injuries. Your lawyer will require your health insurance card so they can collect the information needed to show the insurance company. This is crucial information that will help you prove your claim and negotiate a worthy settlement.
10. Your Medicare Card
If not your health insurance, it’s likely that Medicare has been paying for your medical bills. They will almost certainly have lien for the settlement you obtain.
Regardless of how hard it is to determine whether they have a lien or not, your car accident or personal injury attorney will go through the process to ensure you get the maximum compensation for your car accident injuries and damages.
The Most Important Documents for Attorneys
These are some of the most vital documents for attorneys to prove your case. Car accident cases can be complicated, especially when it’s not clear who was at fault. For this reason, you need to keep all documents, bills, and tickets that will help prove your case and get the settlement you deserve.
As you go through the case, you also need to ensure that you stay healthy and fit so you can get back in shape. Our website has incredible health and fitness articles that can help you recover and get your life back in order. Please check our blog section today!