Every year in the United States, around three million people are injured in car accidents.
If you’re involved in a motor vehicle crash, a car accident lawyer can help you receive the compensation you need to seek medical treatment, recoup lost wages, and more.
When you meet with one for the first time, it pays to be prepared.
Today, we’re sharing eight of the most important documents that all car accident lawyers will need to analyze your case. Bring these to your first meeting and you’ll start off on the right track.
1. The Police Report
Calling the police should be one of the first things you do after a car crash. Once they arrive at the scene, they will take detailed notes of everything and everyone at the scene. They do this to piece together the events that led to the accident, and to provide data and documentation in the event of future litigation.
This report will include detailed claims from both parties involved in the crash, as well as notes on who the officer believes to be responsible for the collision.
If you do not have a copy of this report already, you can contact the precinct where the accident occurred to learn the specific steps to follow to obtain one. This is an important document that can help you prove your case, so make sure to bring it with you when you meet your attorney.
2. Your Insurance Information
Even if you are not the party at fault, your car accident lawyer will still need a copy of your insurance policy.
In addition to the documentation that covers the policies themselves, you should also take alone copies of any correspondence you’ve had with your insurance company regarding the accident. This might include emails, notes from phone conversations, or chat history logs.
In addition, be sure to bring along any information you have on the other party’s insurance policy, too.
3. Photographic Evidence
If you were not seriously injured in the car accident, you might have taken photos or videos of the scene before leaving. If this is the case, your lawyer will need to see them.
Often, this photographic evidence can include details or clues that the police report or witnesses missed, and they can be incredibly valuable in court.
4. Payroll Reports
Research shows that more than 50% of car accidents cause employees to miss work.
Were you forced to take time off to seek medical treatment, attend therapy, or otherwise recover from your injuries? If so, your car accident attorney may be able to help you recoup those costs.
Bring information that clearly shows the exact dates you missed work, along with the wages that you would have made if you were able to attend. Your W2 forms or other payroll documentation will help verify that these numbers are accurate.
5. Medical Bills and Reports
Even if you do not have any noticeable injuries following an accident, it’s always best to get checked out by a physician. This is because certain soft-tissue injuries can have late-onset symptoms that take a while to manifest.
Whether you saw a doctor for a single, 30-minute visit or you’ve been going back for weeks, remember to keep detailed records of every encounter. This includes information on your recommended treatments, pharmaceutical prescriptions, therapy visits and more.
In addition, you should also keep up with all of your associated medical costs. Again, your lawyer may be able to help you recover some or all of these expenses, but only if your records are complete and accurate.
Remember: These records do more than show the court how much you’ve spent on accident-related healthcare.
They also serve as documented proof that your accident happened during the dates and times that you claimed. Moreover, they demonstrate that you’ve done your due diligence and sought medical treatment, all of which can help add validity to your case.
6. Witness Information
Witnesses can be especially valuable resources in the event of a car accident. Before leaving the scene, you should have written down the name and contact information of everyone at the scene, including anyone who happened to view the collision and stuck around to lend their help.
Your attorney can contact these willing witnesses to get their opinion on what led to the accident and the events that followed immediately afterward.
7. Vehicle Damage Reports
Did the collision cause damage to your vehicle? If so, it’s best to take it to your mechanic for a repair estimate as soon after the crash as possible. Waiting too long can raise eyebrows and make it more difficult to prove that the scratches, dings or other vehicular issues are accident-related.
Whether you’ve already paid for the repairs or you’re holding out, this document can help your lawyer understand the extent of your vehicle concerns. In many cases, they can incorporate this figure into the amount of money they request to help get you back on the road.
8. Personal Written Account
It might be more difficult to verify in court, but it’s also important to bring along a full, written statement that details your complete version of events. After all, you’re the person closest to the case and your input matters.
Simply preparing this document can help you organize your thoughts and prepare your statements when you’re preparing to meet your car accident lawyer. This way, the meeting can stay on track and you can be sure to cover every key detail. Take your time with this file and try to remember every step that led up to the collision, as well as all of the steps you’ve taken in the time since it occurred.
Contact Our Team of Car Accident Lawyers Today
If you’ve been involved in a car accident, you need experienced, expert representation.
Our team of car accident lawyers is ready to help you navigate every next step. We know the legal process can be complicated, and we’re here to make the process as simple and straightforward as possible. From gathering evidence to fighting for compensation, we’ll take care of it all.
Contact us today for a free consultation and let’s get started.