Have you been injured in a car accident recently? If so, an attorney can represent your case and help ensure you receive the compensation you deserve. With so many lawyers in California, it’s important to do your due diligence and find a legal team that’s a great fit for your needs.
Once you partner with the right one, you can attend an in-person meeting to discuss the details of your accident.
It’s important to show up to this meeting prepared, with all the required documents in hand. Otherwise, you could impede progress and set your case back as the requisite details are gathered.
Today, we’re sharing seven of the most important documents to complete and compile before the big day.
1. A Copy of the Police Report
Immediately following the accident, you should have been able to prepare a written statement detailing your version of events. This statement should be included in the official police report or collision report associated with your case.
This report is comprehensive in nature and is full of important details, including which parties were involved, as well as the insurance information for each driver.
If you do not have a copy of the police report yet, call the police department and ask for the report number. Or, bring any sort of documentation the police may have given you so far. You can still file a claim without a police report, but this is one of the most helpful documents that you can provide your car accident attorney.
2. Towing Company Information
Was your company taken to the tow yard following the accident? If so, your attorney will need to know the name of the towing company, along with its location.
This information is critical in getting your car back as soon as possible. Remember: The longer it sits at the tow yard, the longer you’ll incur sky-high fees. Even if your vehicle is in need of dire repairs, you’ll need to reclaim ownership of it first.
3. Images of the Accident Scene
It’s always smart to take as many photos and videos of the accident scene as possible, preferably from multiple angles.
While written and verbal testimonies can be powerful, nothing is as accurate as a photographic image. From license plate numbers to driver identifiers and vehicle positions, there are myriad details that these pictures can contain.
If you have any photos of the scene immediately following your accident, bring a copy of each one to your lawyer when you meet. This way, they can get a clearer view of what happened and can better gauge the severity of the crash.
Forget to take pictures at the scene of the accident? That’s OK. Before your meeting, take pictures of your car in as-is condition, whether it’s in your garage or at the tow yard.
4. Images of Your Injuries
Along the same lines, it’s also helpful to take photos of any car accident injuries that you sustained. Time is of the essence, so try to take pictures as soon as your injuries appear, and keep track of any physical changes that occur as you seek treatment.
While these images can reveal the extent of your trauma, it’s important to keep in mind that an injury can still be severe even if it doesn’t cause a major gash or bruise.
From concussions to internal bleeding, there are several conditions that don’t result in outward abrasions but are still incredibly serious. Write down all of your symptoms so you don’t miss a key detail.
5. Medical Reports
Did you seek medical treatment for any injuries sustained in the accident? Even if you walked away without a scratch, it’s still smart to visit your physician for a check.
You’ll need to show medical records to your attorney as soon as you meet. These act as evidence of your injury. Moreover, the date on the records can help prove that your medical visits aligned with the accident timeline.
Make sure that these reports are complete and thorough, and also include copies of any invoices you’ve received from your doctor’s office for your post-accident treatment.
6. Your Car Insurance Information
Wait, you didn’t cause the crash. Why would an attorney need to know details about your car insurance policy?
In some cases, your policy might be able to help pay for your claim. It’s always worth checking, and your lawyer will want to examine all possible routes. At the same time, if you don’t have a current policy in place, you’ll be considered an uninsured motorist, which could render you ineligible to receive compensation from the other driver’s policy.
To clear up any ambiguity, take your car insurance declaration page with you to the meeting. This page summarizes your policy and includes the following details:
- The name of your insurance provider
- Your policy term
- Your policy number
- Vehicles covered by the policy
- The types of coverage you elected to have
- The costs associated with each type of coverage
7. Witness Statements
If witnesses were around at the time of the accident, their version of events can help add credibility to yours.
Before leaving the scene of the crash, it’s important to obtain statements from witnesses, even if they are only a few sentences long. Also, get each witnesses’ name and contact information. Your lawyer might need to contact them to learn more about what happened and to confirm the details in their statement.
The Best Car Accident Lawyers in California
These seven documents can help make sure that your meeting with your lawyer goes as smoothly as possible.
If you’ve just been in a car accident, you should be able to trust the legal details of your case to a qualified and capable attorney. That way, you can focus your energy on getting better.
Still looking for the right representation? We’re proud of our reputation as some of the best car accident lawyers in California. Our team is experienced and skilled in handling cases just like yours, and we’d love to help.
Contact us today for a free consultation and let’s connect.