We spend so much time behind the wheels of our automobiles that it’s easy to forget the amount of risk we are actually putting ourselves in. Accidents happen and they happen frequently.
In fact, accidents are such a common occurrence that we’re all likely to be in at least one accident at some point in our lives.
If you’ve been in an accident recently, you’re likely already speaking with attorneys about ensuring you get the compensation that you have a right to. However, in order to present a strong case, you need to bring the right records to show attorneys at the beginning of your case.
What are the pieces of proper documentation that you want to be sure not to leave behind? Read on and we’ll walk you through everything that you need to know.
1. Copy of Police Report
In the event of an accident, you must call the police. One of the most important documents that will be created at the scene of the accident itself is the police report.
When they come to the scene of the crime, it’s the role of the police to offer a third-party perspective on the incident. They need to come, talk to both parties, collect information, and make a detailed report of what happened.
The report that they end up creating will have all sorts of information and will be incredibly important to your case. It will include a diagram that shows the position of the vehicles at the scene of the accident. It will include statements made by drivers involved in the accident and witnesses to the incident.
Most important of all, it will include the conclusion of the officers and their opinion on the causes of the accident. They will place the blame, most likely, on one driver or another.
This can be very important to your case because this is a third-party conclusion that will stand away from the claims of both drivers. The court is likely to take this opinion very seriously, meaning it’s one of the more important documents that can be presented in relation to your accident.
You’ll need to reach out to the police station in order to obtain a copy of this report. You’ll need to provide information about the accident and potentially the name of the law officer who came to the scene of the crime.
They should be able to send you a copy of the report within a few days time, but it’s better to ask as ahead of time as possible to ensure you have a copy in time for your sit down with an attorney.
2. Photos and Videos
One thing has changed in the past decade or two: we all have access to cameras, since we carry cell phones with us at all times. This technological advancement comes in handy after an accident, allowing drivers to take immediate evidence of the accident and the damage caused.
One thing you’ll certainly want to bring to an attorney is all of the photos and videos you’ve hopefully taken at the scene of the incident.
Try to get as much as possible and from every angle. Get the overall position of the vehicles on the road. Make sure to capture the extent of damage to your vehicle.
If you’ve sustained visible injuries, photograph them or take a video of them.
This is all hard evidence that can be used to support your claims later on when seeking compensation. Make sure to back up these files as soon as possible so that you don’t lose them later on.
If you weren’t able to take photos or videos at the scene of the accident, there may be other options. You can look to see if there were traffic cameras at the scene of the accident, or if the incident was recorded in any other way.
3. Doctor’s Report
After an auto accident, even if you feel completely fine and in good health, it is essential that you take the time to go and visit a medical professional. This is important for a number of different reasons.
For one, you’ll be able to ascertain if you actually do need medical attention. In a lot of car accident situations, adrenaline pumps through the body and blocks out all traces of pain. Your body, in such a situation, enters a state of shock.
This might mean that you have sustained injuries without even realizing it. You might need to seek help from a doctor to ensure that you don’t actually need treatment when you really do.
It goes without saying that tending to injuries as early as possible can help to prevent them from worsening. The last thing you want to do is avoiding seeing a medical professional only to find out days later that you are really suffering.
However, this visit to the doctor will also play a big role in your car accident case as well. You’ll want to show medical records to an attorney when you first sit down with them—this is actually some of the most important documentation you’ll have.
When you try to obtain compensation after your accident, recovering for injuries sustained in the accident will be a big part of things.
In order to prove that your injuries (and thus the resulting medical bills) were caused by the accident, you’ll need to have visited a doctor as soon after the incident as possible.
This will remove doubt that the injuries could have been caused anything else, and can shut down arguments that you allowed these injuries to worsen via your own negligence.
4. Insurance Information
Your attorney will want to know what kind of insurance policy you have in place and what the extent of your coverage is. You’ll also want to bring proof of insurance premiums and proof that you have paid these premiums.
All of this will help to prove to your attorney (and later, others) that your insurance is active and valid.
If you have health insurance, you should also bring evidence of this health insurance when sitting down with a car accident attorney. Understanding the full extent of your medical situation will help an attorney dig through what you really are owed in terms of compensation for these medical costs.
As we all know, medical care in the United States can be quite expensive. It’s important to an attorney that they get you the full total of compensation that you really deserve.
If you’ve obtained insurance information from the opposing driver at the scene of the accident, you’ll also want to share that information with an attorney.
Your attorney will likely spend much of the case negotiating with the insurance agency lawyers, so it’s a good idea to give them as much information about this company upfront.
5. Accident-Related Tickets
In some situations, when the police arrive at the scene of an accident, they will also give out tickets or citations to drivers involved. This usually happens if a driver was engaging in a behavior that directly led to the accident in question.
For example, a driver that was found to be drunk behind the wheel would likely have been given a ticket at the scene of the accident itself. The same could be said for a driver that was speeding, disobeying state phone laws, or driving recklessly in some manner.
Your auto accident attorney should be able to review these tickets and use them as supporting evidence in your case. If you were the driver that received the ticket, they may be able to argue why the ticket doesn’t contribute to your liability.
Regardless of the situation, it’s important to provide this documentation to an attorney as soon as possible so they can begin to work it into their overall strategy for your case.
Records To Show Attorneys After a Car Accident
A car accident is a shocking surprise that can alter the course of your whole day, week, or even year. If you’ve found yourself the victim of an auto incident, it’s important to obtain the help of an auto accident attorney as soon as possible.
It’s important to do your part in ensuring the attorney you hire can do their best work.
Knowing which records to show attorneys after a car accident will help set your lawyer and your case up for success. The above are some of the most important documents you can provide.
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