Have you recently been involved in a car accident? Do you feel that you’re entitled to compensation for your injuries and damage? If so, then you need to meet with a car accident lawyer right away.
To make the most of your situation, you’ll want to have certain pieces of documentation readily available. This can help expedite the process, build evidence, and get to the bottom of who’s at fault in your case.
See below for an in-depth car accident document checklist. Make sure you have every item on this list. This will help your lawyer get a head start on your case.
1. Photos From the Scene
A large portion of evidence for a car accident can only be found at the scene of the car crash. Once you drive away from it, it will be extremely difficult to extract the truth.
One of the best forms of evidence is photos. They support the claims and scenarios that you’re using in your case.
For future reference: whenever you’re at the scene of a car accident, be sure to take as many pictures as possible. You should try to get photos of:
- All parties that were involved
- All the cars in the accident (and their damages)
- Any witnesses that stayed behind
- The area where the crash occurred
- Any injuries that you or a loved one sustained
These can help you paint a better picture when you tell your story to your attorney for the first time. They’ll get a sense of what happened and who you need to pursue legal action against.
These days, it’s easier than ever to take photos. You can pull out your smartphone and store all the pictures you take.
Make sure that you hire the right person for the job. Reach out to a trusted car accident lawyer as soon as you drive away from the scene. Time is of the essence!
2. Information on All Those Who Are Involved
This is another crucial piece of information that’s difficult to obtain once you drive away from the scene of a car accident.
If you’ve called a police officer to the scene, then they will be sure to file a police report. You’ll be required to tell your side of the story and give your contact information to them at that time.
While you’re waiting for the officer to arrive or fill out the police report, make sure to take the time and speak with all of those who were involved. You’ll need to gather the following information from them:
- First and last name
- License plate number
- Home address
- Contact information
- Name of insurance provider
- Insurance policy number
While you’re there, you’ll also want to speak with any witnesses that stayed behind to tell their side of the story.
Make sure to get a summary of what they saw. Take out the note app on your phone and get their name, number, email, and a quick summary of their story.
Your lawyer can use these witnesses to gain traction in your car accident case. Be sure to present this information to your attorney from the get-go.
3. Bills and Lost Wages
You shouldn’t have to undergo a major financial setback due to the negligence of another person.
Depending on the severity of the accident, you may have suffered injuries that needed medical attention, car damage that needed to be repaired ASAP, and so forth.
In a perfect world, insurance companies would help you cover these costs. However, that doesn’t always turn out to be the case. Sometimes, the bills and lost wages can be catastrophic to your future.
A car accident lawyer can help you determine how much. the compensation you need in your case. They’ll use things like bills, lost wages, and long-term effects to configure how much you should look for.
Make sure to bring them any medical bills or other bills that have set you back.
4. Your Insurance Policy and Premiums
If you have car insurance, then you’ll want to bring all of the information that you can to your car accident attorney.
They’ll need to see the type of insurance you have, how much coverage you’re entitled to, the details of your policy, and so forth.
You’ll also need to bring in proof that you’ve paid your insurance premiums. Print out some bills and statements you’ve received from your insurance provider as confirmation of past payments.
Don’t worry if you’re unable to obtain a copy of your car insurance policy. Your lawyer will have a way of retrieving it.
5. Letters From Insurance Companies
Ideally, your insurance provider would cover the costs of all your medical bills, car repairs, and so on.
However, insurance companies only have one goal in mind: giving out as little money as possible. They want to keep as much cash in their own pockets as they can.
They’ll try to drag the process out as much as they can until a lawyer gets involved. Be sure to give your attorney any letters or emails you’ve received that mention them denying your claims or refusing to cover the damage.
Car Accident Document Checklist: Hire the Right Attorney
Now that you have seen an in-depth car accident document checklist, be sure to use this information to your advantage.
Take the time to read this article for more information on the four signs you need a car accident attorney. To get started, give us a call at 800-474-1233 and we will be happy to assist you further.