Every year, approximately 6 million car accidents occur in the United States, injuring about 3 million people and claiming the lives of tens of thousands of others. A car accident can have far-reaching physical, emotional, and financial consequences.
That’s why when you have been the victim of a road accident, it makes sense to seek your rightful compensation if the accident was someone else fault.
A car accident claim or a lawsuit is often a highly fact-oriented process. If you’re considering legal representation, there are certain essential records for lawyers that you’ll need to have to help your attorney build a strong case.
11 Records for Lawyers you need to Claim a Car Accident Injury
In this post, we outline the top 11 documents you need to present to your lawyer when filing a car accident injury claim. Read on to learn more.
1. Police Report
After a collision, emergency responders and the police will usually arrive on the scene of the accident. The police will then prepare a police report, which you can expect to be ready within a couple of days.
A police report contains crucial details surrounding the car accident, including the date, time, and location of the accident. The report will also have witness statements from emergency responders, a diagram depicting the scene of the accident, and information about the responsible driver’s insurance provider. This report is one of the essential records for lawyers when preparing your car accident insurance claim.
2. Witness Statements
As we’ve pointed out above, statements from witnesses are essential when trying to understand the facts surrounding a car accident. While the police will usually take these statements for the police report, you also need to do the same if you can.
You can record these statements on your cell phone and present them to your attorney later. Remember that any witness statement is very helpful in determining the party at fault for the collision.
3. Photographs and Videos
Photos and videos of the accident scene can help your attorney have a clear visual understanding of the injuries and damage the accident caused. These photographs can be taken by anyone at the scene, including you, emergency responders, insurance companies, tow truck drivers, and the auto shop where your car was repaired.
But visuals aren’t helpful to only your attorney. They also help the insurance adjuster when evaluating your claim.
4. Tickets Issued at the Scene of the Accident
Most auto insurance companies will want to dispute the facts surrounding the car accident. If the party responsible for the collision was given a citation by the police for their role in the accident, ask for a copy of the citation. This evidence helps show the insurer that there shouldn’t be any dispute regarding who caused the accident.
To find out if the police issued a citation, look at the police report or check with the local traffic law enforcement office.
There are other tickets that may be issued at the accident scene too. For instance, you may have been issued a ticket for driving under the influence (DIU), even if you were not at fault for the collision.
Show your attorney any tickets issued to you at the scene of the accident. The lawyer need to review it in addition to other facts and records of the accident to prove that you aren’t to blame for the accident.
5. Medical Records for Lawyers
Having thoroughly detailed medical records can prove very helpful when filing a claim for your car accident injuries.
The medical records you bring to your attorney should indicate that the harm you suffered was the direct result of the car accident you were involved in. The records need to show that you sought continuous treatment for the injuries.
If you received treatment for a considerable amount of time or visited numerous physicians for treatment, your medical records may be lengthy. Retrieving these records can also be expensive. However, it’s necessary to show medical records to your lawyer when submitting a car accident claim for relevant parties to evaluate the claim.
6. Medical Bills
Your medical bills highlight the extent to which your injuries, suffering, and pain cost you. Keep a list of all medical practitioners you saw as a result of the car accident injuries. Keep track of all medical bills and receipts you accumulate in the course of your treatment.
Medical bills show the at-fault party’s insurance company how much compensation you rightfully deserve for the injuries you suffered from the accident.
7. Psychological Treatment Records
A car accident can have a huge mental or emotional impact on the parties involved. If you sought psychiatric or psychological care as a result of the collision, notify your attorney and show them the treatment records. Provide your lawyer with a signed release form, as well as the names and addresses of your psychological health providers.
8. Work Schedule for Time Missed
If your injuries were severe enough to force you to take time away from work, your lawyer will need to know about it. Document all the missed workdays, as well as the amount of money you lost as a result.
These damages can be recouped when the responsible driver’s insurance provider settles your claim. Before they do that, they’ll want to see proof that you missed work. Work with your supervisor to outline all days you missed at work and come up with an estimate of the amount of money it cost you.
9. Your Car Insurance Policy
Your car accident lawyer will need to see your auto insurance policy, especially if you need to make an underinsured or uninsured motorist claim. Your car insurance policy indicates how much coverage you have once you make a claim. The policy will also highlight any exclusions.
There are instances where the party responsible is underinsured or doesn’t have insurance at the time of the car accident. Talk to your lawyer about the possibility of recovering the necessary amount of compensation through your own insurance.
10. Your Health Insurance Card
Chances are you have been paying your medical bills using your health insurance following your car accident. If this is the case, give your health insurance card to your lawyer to gather necessary records about your health insurance plan. This information is vital when discussing your medical bills with the insurance provider.
11. Medicaid Card
Some people use Medicaid or Medicare to pay for their medical bills after suffering from car accident injuries. In this case, Medicaid or Medicare will most likely have a lien on the settlement you receive.
Determining whether Medicaid has a lien and how much they are entitled can be a lengthy process. A seasoned lawyer should be able to negotiate the lien down, so you receive a healthy compensation for your injuries. However, they’ll need a copy of your Medicaid card to obtain the necessary information to negotiate your liens.
Choosing a Car Accident Attorney
Now that you have all the records you need to file a car accident claim, it’s time to move to the next critical step: finding the ideal lawyer for you, if you already don’t have one. Keep in mind that the attorney you hire for your case will determine the success of your case, and how much compensation you will receive.
Read Also: Is It Easy To Find Solicitors in UK?
Here are a few qualities to look for.
Among the most important attributes, you need to look for in your prospective car insurance attorney is whether they specialize in car accident law. Remember, you’re looking to maximize your compensation from the responsible party’s insurance provider. Only an attorney who exclusively practices car accident law can give you the best chances of success.
It is not enough that your potential lawyer practices car accident law. You need someone with enough experience representing auto accident victims. Car accident claims and lawsuits can be highly complicated, and you need to be sure your attorney knows what they’re doing.
Proven Track Record
How successful has your prospective lawyer been in helping their clients receive maximum compensation?
There’s no point in hiring an experienced lawyer who specializes in car accident law if they have a dismal record against insurance companies. Ask the lawyer to provide a list of previous satisfied clients and follow up with the clients.
Car accident attorneys are not fortune-tellers. No lawyer can guarantee a specific outcome for your claim or lawsuit.
That said, an attorney worth their salt should be able to explain the likely outcomes of your case based on the evidence at hand, their previous experience with similar cases, and the specific laws relating to your case.
There’s nothing more frustrating than working with an attorney who’s hardly ever available when you need them. Find an attorney who can make time to give you and your case the deserved attention.
The best lawyer will answer your phone calls promptly and return your emails without delays. They’ll also create time to meet you physically whenever necessary.
Present the Necessary Records for Lawyers After a Car Accident
A car accident claim or lawsuit can be long and tedious. One way to expedite the process and make things easier for the parties involved is to have the appropriate records for lawyers on hand.
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