If you have been involved in a car accident, the first step is to take care of your health and rights. Legally speaking, you have a right to be compensated for your injuries, medical bills, lost wages, pain, suffering, and more. For your claim to be successful, though, you will need to present the right evidence detailing the incident and the severity of the damage caused. This guide will detail the critical steps you should take to gather strong evidence in case of an accident.
The first legal step you should take after an auto accident is to call the police to the scene. The police are the law enforcement entity that can document an accident. They will collect information on scene and document all the damages caused by the accident. The accident report will contain invaluable information that will be useful in making compensation claims.
For example, the police report will have their opinion on the person who was at fault. It will also contain information about the other driver, the party’s insurance company and contacts.
A police report will have information about witnesses who saw the accident. It will also have details regarding the severity of the accident, the date and location where the accident occurred, weather conditions, etc.
That is why it is essential to call the police even if the accident might look minor. In fact, the case might escalate and get complex in future.
Records of correspondence with a lawyer
Before engaging anyone else, and particularly the insurance agents, you should talk to a skilled auto accident lawyer to protect your rights. A top accident attorney knows all the legal processes involved in filing insurance claims and suing, if necessary.
The lawyer will understand the evidence to back up your claims for compensation. A good lawyer will also advise you accordingly and represent you in court if need be, allowing you time to recuperate. You should find the best auto injury lawyers in town to help collect proper legal evidence after the accident. They will also help handle insurance agents who might be out to rip you off! This will maximize your odds of getting a fair car accident claim. Make sure you work with an attorney who has a proven track record handling auto accident cases.
Whether you feel that you can manage the injuries after an accident, it is advisable to seek medical attention immediately. For starters, some injuries manifest much later and could be life-threatening. You will also need the doctor to assess the damage and the severity of the injuries on your body.
The doctor will record details on the injuries, the medical tests done, the suffering and the costs of treatment. As you seek compensation, you will need to produce medical records from a qualified doctor to back your claim. It should indicate the correct amount you spent on medication and the injuries you incurred. Ensure you also put together the prescription chits for the medicine you bought, physical therapy sessions, counselling and other medical records.
Put your employment records together
The injuries you incur in an accident might force you to miss work to recuperate. You should gather employment records, including tip records, direct deposit records, check stubs, and tax returns. These will act as proof of employment, as you are entitled to compensation for the amount of income you lost due to the auto accident. The records will show how much you are typically paid and the approximate value of wages you lost while receiving medical treatment. A letter from your employer regarding the amount of income you lost because of the accident will come in handy to help you get the most out of your claim.
Remember, no insurance company or party is happy to pay for your compensation. Again, you need a lawyer who knows the ins and outs of insurance after an auto accident to help protect fight for you. It will make the process of filing a claim far much more comfortable and less tedious.
Proof of vehicle damage
You will be required to provide evidence of the damage of your car for compensation. You are advised to take photos of the scene of the accident, if you can. Also, take pictures of the vehicles and the damage on your car from all angles. Take snapshots of the interior as well. These records will help determine the extent to which the vehicle was damaged.
The insurance agents will be in a position to determine how much the damage will cost in repair in order to compensate accordingly. You should ensure that you take into consideration the cost of spare parts and all repair work needed before settling for a compensation offer from the insurance company of the driver at-fault. A lawyer should also help in calculating the right amount you should claim after the accident.
In a nutshell
In case you are involved in an auto accident, it is advisable to know the processes involved. Try as much as you can to protect your health and your rights! Remember, compensation claims will require you to have records or evidence detailing the incident and its effects. Talking to a qualified auto accident lawyer will make it easier for you.