The aftermath of a traffic accident can feel incredibly overwhelming. Filing an insurance claim can be a challenge to do yourself, especially if you are recovering from injuries. Suppose you have been injured and face a prolonged period of healing that may also prevent you from working. In that case, it may be best to hire a car accident lawyer to help negotiate with insurance companies. Rather than fighting the insurance companies on your own, you should hire an experienced California car accident lawyer to allow you to focus on your recovery. The attorney will fight for fair compensation on your behalf. A car accident lawyer also will be able to litigate a personal injury lawsuit if your case goes to trial.
A successful insurance claim or personal injury lawsuit hinges on your ability to prove two key issues. You must prove who is at fault for the accident and the extent of your losses due to the accident. The best way to strengthen your case is to gather all the proper documents to support your claim.
5 Important Records to Gather after a Traffic Accident
You must have the proper evidence of the accident and its consequences to build your case. Your attorney will use the records you provide them to help you receive fair compensation for any losses, pain, or injuries you sustained.
Pictures and Witness Statements
After you call the paramedics and the police, it is in your best interest to gather evidence of the accident if you are able to do so. While you wait for help, collect as much information about the accident as you can. Take pictures of the accident. These pictures should include shots of your vehicle’s damage and the damage to the other vehicle. A wider shot of the scene of the accident would be a good addition to the record. You should also try to take pictures of any injuries sustained.
Along with taking photos, you should write down certain information. Write down information about the other drivers involved. Important information on which to focus includes their name, contact information, driver’s license, and insurance information. If there are any witnesses of the accident, it would be beneficial to take note of their names and contact information.
The responding officer will conduct a police report containing crucial information needed in an insurance claim or personal injury lawsuit. The report would include information about the accident and any witnesses. An accident police report includes the following information:
- Date, time, and location of the accident
- Names of the drivers involved
- Name and badge of the responding officer
- Whether any of the drivers violated traffic laws
- Statements from drivers, witnesses, and passengers
- Any observations made by the responding officer
- Potential causes of the accident
The police report is a tool that provides a clear picture of the events that led to the accident and the aftermath of the collision.
If you sustained any injuries in the accident, be sure to keep copies of all medical records and billing information related to your treatment after the accident. This is true even if you only went to the doctor to be checked for precautionary reasons. Below is a list of just a few medical records you should be keeping:
- Emergency services (i.e., ambulance or ER treatment)
- Hospital admission
- Healthcare providers who treated you
- Diagnoses made
- Treatments received
- Physical therapy
Make sure to account for every phase of your healthcare. This includes treatments, diagnoses, medications, and any other services received from a healthcare provider.
If your injuries prevent you from working, gathering the proper employment records will help you receive compensation for your lost wages. The documents you collect should show your typical income and the approximate value of wages you lost while receiving medical treatment or recovering from your injuries. Employment records to gather may include the following:
- Check stubs
- Direct deposit records
- Tax returns
- Correspondence from your employer regarding your absence from work
- A letter from your employer detailing how much income you lost because of the accident
It is vital to keep track of these records to show proof of lost income when filing a personal injury claim.
Vehicle Damage Estimate and Proof of Value
If your vehicle sustained damages during the accident, you likely want to recoup repair costs through your insurance company or by filing a personal injury lawsuit. To calculate the amount of your damages, you will need to know precisely how much the vehicle repairs will cost. Some insurance companies handle the damage estimate, but they do not always do so. If you have to determine the cost of repairs, you should check with multiple auto mechanics and body shops for an estimated cost. Once the estimated cost is determined, your attorney may be able to help you receive the money for the repairs without you having to pay out of pocket.
Contact the Personal Injury Attorneys at Setareh Law Today
At Setareh Law, we pride ourselves on providing unparalleled client service and obtaining the best possible results. We are a highly accomplished personal injury law firm dedicated to helping accident victims receive fair compensation. Our skilled attorneys will negotiate with insurance companies and advocate for your best interests. We understand the stress of dealing with insurance companies. Filing a legal claim on your own is even more challenging. An experienced lawyer will be able to help you. We take pride in helping our clients navigate the legal process during such a difficult time.
For a free consultation, fill out our contact form or call (310) 659-1826.