What Records Should I Keep After a Car Accident?
Keeping records after a car accident might be the last thing on your mind. Your immediate reaction after a car accident is to make sure that you’re okay and if applicable, everyone else in the car with you is also okay.
Remember, however, that keeping records after a car accident can help you later on when you file for a car accident claim. Keep in mind that in order to be granted compensation, you have to prove two things:
- You sustained damages.
- The other driver in the accident was the one at fault.
Proving these two things will require a few records. It will also help to get an experienced Lansing car accident lawyer who can get you the compensation that you deserve. Additionally, with Michigan still having such a high number of car accidents at 312,798 back in 2018, you must be armed with this knowledge.
The 5 Important Records to Keep After a Car Accident
These documents or records can help you prove your claim.
A police officer will most likely come to the scene of your accident. He or she will then prepare a police report either right there on the scene or shortly afterward. You must secure a copy of this report because it contains key information about the accident. Some of the information in the police report include the following:
- Traffic laws violated, if any
- Statements from the drivers, witnesses, and passengers
- The officer’s opinion on what caused the accident as well as their observations of the scene
To get a copy of the police report (sometimes called an incident report or an accident report), you have to get in touch with the law enforcement agency which responded to the scene. Once you’ve contacted them, you need to provide the following information:
- The names of the driver/s involved
- The date and location of the accident
- The name and if applicable, the badge number of the officer who came to the scene and filed the report
The most significant part of the claim you will be filing will be allotted to medical expenses. Thus, it’s crucial that you diligently keep a copy of your medical bills especially since they can pile up while you wait for your claim to come through. Make sure to keep a copy of every single treatment related to the injuries you sustained during the accident. The medical records will depend on the severity of injuries you sustained, and these are some of the documents you will need to secure:
- Emergency medical services: this is usually an ambulance or a paramedic company that’s run by the local municipality. Sometimes, it can be run by a private company.
- Treatments in the emergency room
- Hospital admission
- Primary doctor’s treatment
- Pharmacy prescriptions
- Physical therapy
- Other care/treatments provided by other health care providers and specialists
Proof of Income
It’s crucial also to secure your proof of income. It will help you recover any of the corresponding income you’ve lost because of hospitalization and missed time from work because of the accident.
Gather your paycheck stubs, tip records, any direct deposit records, or other financial documents that will show the amount of income you missed because of the accident. You will need detailed proof of your claimed losses.
Record of Vehicle Value and Damage Estimates
Apart from bodily injuries, your claim or lawsuit will also include payment for any repairs that need to be done to your damaged vehicle. Michigan has a mini-tort law that will let you recover at least a portion of the damages. However, for you and your lawyers to come up with a figure to ask for, you first need to know how much the repairs will cost.
Sometimes, they also require the actual cash value of your car before the accident when filing a claim. Hence, it’s best to come prepared. Review your insurance policy too and check who will do the vehicle valuation and determine the cost of repairs.
Car Accident Journal
Technically, you don’t need to gather this type of document. Nevertheless, it is recommended that you keep a journal to jot down any relevant information related to the accident and the injuries you sustained. This can be another form of evidence which can be valuable when you file a claim.
Get The Best Car Accident Lawyer For You
Recovery and healing are essential after experiencing such a traumatic event like a car accident. You would want your claims to go smoothly, so make sure to hire the best car accident lawyers in Michigan.
Call The Clark Law Office at your earliest convenience for a free case evaluation. You can reach us at (517) 347-6900 or simply fill out the form below. You won’t need to pay any fees unless we win your injury case.