After experiencing a car accident, you may be injured and need to seek compensation. The best way to seek damages and compensation is through an insurance claim or personal injury case. However, to build a viable and reputable insurance claim or personal injury case, you need to have substantial evidence to prove your point. The more credible evidence you have, the more likely you are to get a fair settlement. Continue reading to learn about documenting evidence for a car accident claim.
Burden Of Proof
In insurance claims and civil lawsuits, the injured party is responsible for showing that the other driver was at fault in the car accident and that the injuries suffered were caused by the car accident. This means that the injured person must collect evidence that corroborates their version of events leading up to the accident, claims of physical injuries, and claims of lost income. There are several different types of evidence that need to be collected for these cases.
Evidence From The Accident
After a car accident, you should immediately assess if there are injuries and call 911 for medical attention. If no one involved needs immediate medical attention, call the police to report the accident and wait for a police report to be created. It’s imperative that a police report is made at the time of the accident since the report will state who is legally at fault in the accident. If you’re able, gather the names, contact information, driver’s license number, vehicle plate numbers, and insurance information of all other drivers involved. If there are any witnesses, get their names and contact information to use later in your case. Also take photos of the scene of the accident, including damage to the vehicles, the location of traffic signals, any skid marks, vehicle debris, and the surrounding area.
Evidence Of Damage
The most important thing to capture, as it relates to vehicle damage, is to get photos of your damaged vehicle. Take photos at the scene as well as photos at the shop when the exterior parts of the car have been removed so that any damage to the high strength steel of the frame can be assessed. The value of the vehicle, if totaled, is represented by what any private buyer would pay for the car.
If you are seeking compensation for injuries, you need documents that exhibit the nature and extent of your injuries. If you did not receive immediate medical attention at the scene of the accident, you should receive medical treatment right after the police report is completed. Document any information related to healthcare appointments, including the names of the medical professionals you saw, the treatment you received, and how much you had to pay at each appointment. Once you have received all of the medical treatment necessary, request a complete copy of your medical records including any diagnostic images that were taken. Also gather all of your medical bills from medical care you received due to the car accident. For lost wages, track all of your pay stubs and any other relevant documents to prove your loss of income.
In short, below is a list of documents that you need to gather for your car accident claim:
- A police report of your car accident
- Medical records
- Medical bills acquired from treatment for injuries caused by the car accident
- Proof of income for lost wages, including paystubs, direct deposit records, etc.
- Vehicle damage estimates from mechanics and auto body shops
- Proof of vehicle value from sources such as Kelley Blue Book
- A journal detailing how this car accident has affected your everyday life and quality of life
If you have recently experienced a car accident and need to seek compensation, our personal injury lawyers at Hasty Pope Davies are here to help. Your personal injury attorney will be able to handle the insurance claims and manage your case so you can focus on your recovery. Schedule a consultation with us today to get started.