There is an average of 6 million car accidents every year in the United States! Unfortunately, it is not uncommon to be injured in an accident. This, of course, may lead to a visit with a motor vehicle accident attorney.
Your chances of winning a car accident case rely heavily on the type of data that you are able to provide to your attorney. Building your case and being prepared is an incredibly important step in this process.
To get started, there are some essential documents that you'll need when you talk to your attorney. Read on to learn what to bring!
1. Insurance Information
In any circumstance, where you are at fault or not, you need to have proof of insurance. In addition to the policy, bring any emails, notes from phone calls, or chats that you have had with your insurance company about the incident.
If you have the other party's insurance information, bring that as well. Remember that federal law requires all drivers to have insurance. This is in place to protect other drivers and pedestrians.
2. Police Report
The first thing that you should do if you've been in an accident is to contact the police.
The first thing that you should do if you've been in an accident is to contact the police. When the police arrive at the scene of the crash, they will take detailed notes about what occurred. They will take the account of everyone at the scene.
This is done to create an unbiased report in case of litigation. The officer will note who they feel is responsible for the collision.
If you don't have this report in your possession, it's fairly easy to obtain one. Contact the precinct where the accident happened and follow their instructions.
3. Photographic Evidence
It is also beneficial to have an image or video documentation of the crash happening or the aftermath. Many people have dashboard cameras installed in their cars. This can prove who was responsible for the accident.
Plus, any photos and videos of the aftermath can help identify details that were missed in the police report. You would be surprised by what you can infer from the aftermath of a crash.
4. Medical Reports and Bills
In a less severe car accident, you might not feel like you have been injured. However, it is always best practice to be checked by a physician following a car crash. Some car accident injuries can actually take a while to show any symptoms.
No matter what your injuries are, keep a detailed record of each visit you make. You'll need to keep track of treatments, prescriptions, therapy visits, and more.
Keep track of all medical costs you incur following your accident. These costs may be something that you can recover if you have kept the proper documentation.
These accounts will help you recover costs, prove when your accident occurred, and potentially allow you to gain more pain and suffering pay in your settlement.
5. Vehicle Damage Reports
It's highly unlikely that your vehicle makes it out without any damage. Even if you can't identify any damage, take your vehicle to a mechanic as soon as possible. Similar to damages done to your own body, the car may not show signs of damage immediately.
If you wait too long to report damages, they may be questionable. You may not be able to prove that they were caused by the accident.
Even if you haven't paid for the repairs, keep documentation on how much you owe, or paid. Also, keep detailed lists on what repairs were made or need to be made.
As long as proper documentation has been kept, you'll probably be able to recover the costs.
6. Payroll Reports
Even in a less severe crash, it's possible that you will need to miss some work. There are many reasons that you may not be able to make it in. This includes missing work due to the actual crash, seeking medical treatment, attending therapy sessions, recovery, or legal proceedings.
You'll need reports that show the exact dates that you missed work. Plus, you'll need proof that you were actually missing those dates due to circumstances following the crash. You can work with your human resource department to get proof of the wages that you would have made otherwise.
7. Personal Written Account and Witnesses
Your police report will probably include an account from those involved. You should create a complete and detailed personal written account of what transpired during your accident. You were one of the closest people involved in what happened.
When you prepare this before meeting with your personal injury attorney, you create a guideline to talk through the accident. Although, it may be difficult to prove this based on your account alone.
That is where witnesses come into play. These people are very valuable resources to have. Before leaving the scene of the accident, you should have written down the contact information for each person who saw the accident happen.
Your attorney can get statements from witnesses to help with your case and verify your own personal account.
Meeting With Your Motor Vehicle Accident Attorney
When you meet with your motor vehicle accident attorney, you will have a lot to talk about. Bringing these documents can help build the best case for you. Not only do these items improve your chance of winning but they can also aid in getting you a bigger settlement.
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