Most times after accidents occur, people involved usually forget to gather some very critical pieces of evidence. This evidence is very important during the submission of a legitimate and successful insurance claim or personal injury lawsuit. The presence of good and relevant evidence is what will determine just how successful the claim or lawsuit will be. These documents support your story about the situation.
In most instances, your chances of getting compensation for any medical expenses get much higher once you provide the relevant documentation. Keeping the copies of all the medical records showing all the billing information and the payments you made for treatment because of the accident is more likely to get fair compensation or a good settlement. Police reports are especially important in the filing of a personal injury lawsuit. Police reports are used in determining who was responsible or at fault for the accident.
Here are the five most important pieces of information that must be gathered, prepared and organized after a car accident.
Once the accident occurs, call 911 immediately. It must be done regardless of the degree of seriousness you attach to the accident. A police officer will be sent over to the scene of the accident. The police officer will then prepare a police report at that scene or later after, he leaves the scene. The report is also known as an incident report or accident report.
The report includes all the information that is key in an insurance claim or a personal injury lawsuit. It includes the officer’s determination of whether violation of traffic rules, probable cause of accident and statements from witnesses and those involved in the accident. The information provided will include whatever was heard or seen at the time of the accident.
In order to get a copy of the police report on your car accident, you need to contact the law enforcement agency that came to the accident scene. You need to remember the date and location of that specific accident. Probably the nearest street address where it occurred.
Your name and the name of the other driver included in the accident are also necessary to remember. If you can remember the badge number of the police officer who prepared the report, it makes it better for your case.an attorney can be of help in case you are unable to locate the incident report.
If by chance you incurred injuries in the accident, or if you went for a precautionary medical checkup, ensure that all the copies of the medical records and billing information for that treatment is availed to you.
Ask for all the copies of the records from the clinics or hospitals you visit. Even if you went to a psychiatrist, you need the reports from the psychiatrist. You need to ensure that every phrase and detail of your healthcare is accounted for. These include the treatments you received, diagnosis made and the recommendations for your doctor. The medications prescribed and the conclusions or referrals made.
You will need a file specifically meant for details of your medical records. They need to be arranged in a chronological order. Some of the records that are inevitable include the following; emergency medical services e.g. treatment at scene of accident and ambulance rides. Emergency room services that you received e.g. X-rays, stitches or emergency surgery. The forms for hospital admission, primary care records, and prescriptions picked up from pharmacy, physical therapy, psychological treatment, chiropractic treatment and any other form of treatment by specialists.
In case you were absent from work for any time as a result of the effects of the accident, you have the right to be compensated for the income you lost during that period of absenteeism. There is need to provide proof of the income you have lost. Gather all the paycheck stubs and details from your employer on the amount of income you missed out during the time you were absent after the accident. Any correspondence between you and your employer related to your absence from work must be kept well and copies made.
In case your earning potential is permanently reduced because of the injuries you got from the accident, you can get compensation for the income you will lose in the future.
If there was any damage to your car in the accident, you can get some or all of the repair costs back from an insurance company depending on your level of insurance. In Michigan, this will either be done using a Mini-Tort claim or the collision coverage of your own auto insurance policy. If you do not have collision coverage, you will unfortunately only be able to recover $1000 dollars of vehicle damage even if the damage was no fault of your own. You need to be aware of the actual amount it will cost to repair the vehicle. This might be the cash value of the vehicle just before the incident.
Insurance companies sometimes do the estimate for the damages. Sometimes when the vehicle is totaled and cannot be repaired, you need to determine a reasonable market value for the car before the accident occurred.
Ensure that you keep a detailed and chronological record after the accident. The record needs to be like your daily journal. Pay attention to details such as your own statement of what happened during the accident immediately after it occurred. Communication between companies and parties involved in the accident needs to be kept well. Write down how you feel daily about the accident and about the injuries you sustained. Take note of any doctor’s appointments and treatments you are undergoing. Missed work days need to be included in the diary. The diary can be very helpful in the determination of the amount of compensation you will receive.
The Clark Law Office represent victims of car accidents, motorcycle accidents, pedestrian accidents, and truck accidents. Contact one of our experienced auto accident attorneys directly for more guidance on how you can go proceed with your personal injury lawsuit. For a free consultation, call (517) 347-6900 or contact us online today.