What Documents You Need After an Accident
After an accident, one of the most important things you can do after seeking medical care is to provide documentation about the incident from multiple perspectives. This data serves as evidence, which is required when filing a case in court. Without evidence of fault, the case will not proceed since it is necessary to prove that the at-fault party was liable for the crash and your injuries.
In addition, you have to show documentation of your financial losses. This includes medical expenses, lost wages and other costs associated with the accident. Accuracy is key here, and leaving losses out can impact on the compensation you receive. So, let us delve into the different forms of documentation you can collect at the accident scene.
Obtain the Police Report
The detailed process of accumulating accident data begins with obtaining the police report. The responding officer will describe the accident, issue citations, list witnesses and provide information such as the location, date and time of the accident. He or she will also document information about emergency responders, the driver’s insurance info, diagram the accident scene and make observations. Insurance companies and the defendant will rely heavily on the police report for information. So will your personal injury lawyer.
You may or may not be able to obtain a copy at the accident scene. If you can’t, make sure to obtain the responding officer’s name and badge number. It is possible to obtain a copy of the report later from the Erie Police Department. You can do this by calling 814-870-1125, going in person or by emailing firstname.lastname@example.org.
Statements Made by Witnesses Provide Documentation of the Crash
Witness statements are an important source of information since they saw the accident without being involved. They can corroborate statements made by the drivers or differ from the motorists’ interpretation of the crash.
If you are able to speak to witnesses at the accident site, ask for their names and telephone numbers. Not all witnesses will be willing to provide this information but many will.
Photographs of the Accident Scene
Use your cell phone to take photos of the accident scene as well as your injuries and the vehicles involved in the crash. These are visual confirmation of verbal descriptions and are important. Try to capture the layout of the area within which the accident occurred.
Police will issue a citation if the at-fault driver broke traffic laws. This will help your case since it helps certify who was at fault for the crash. Citations are listed in the police report.
Documenting injuries is important. Photos are a good way to start. Also, your medical records concerning the accident such as the first responder’s notes, emergency room reports or those from a private physician are necessary. If you are hospitalized, get copies of your record.
All expenses linked to your accident are recoverable. Here are the most important ones:
- Medical expenses: This is an important and hefty cost for most accidents. Keep a folder of all medical providers and their fees. Receipts for medication and transportation to and from the medical facility are important. Taken together, they show how much the accident cost you financially and are critical for obtaining the compensation you deserve.
- Lost wages: Being out of work after an accident has dire consequences for many people. Keep a list of all monetary, job-related losses you suffered. Employees can depend on their usual earnings statements. Contract workers are also able to collect based on income tax statements and client accounts.
- Pain and Suffering: Your personal injury lawyer will also calculate the anguish, anxiety and physical and mental suffering you endured.
How an Attorney Can Help
Your car accident lawyer will help in documenting losses due to the accident. He or she will also help you obtain medical records and pertinent information from insurance companies. The lawyer reviews the police report and challenges inaccuracies and mistakes. The attorney or their investigators will also perform accident reconstruction at the crash site and obtain surveillance camera videos of the collision as it happened.
Travis Law Firm
Whether our law firm is helping you with a car crash or a wrongful death, we do everything in our power to provide a successful resolution to your case. Call us at (814) 277-2222 to schedule a free case review with a legal advocate. You can also contact us online if it is easier for you.