Help Your Lawyer Help You: 4 Documents To Have Ready If You're In A Car Accident
Every year in the United States, three million people are injured in car accidents. You will likely be a part of this high number in your lifetime, and while you can hope that the car accident is not very serious, you want to be prepared in the event you need to file car accident claims. Having these four documents ready will help your lawyer in legal proceedings to get you the compensation you deserve.
- A written account: To get a total picture of what happened during the accident, you need to write down every part of the incident from beginning to end. Include the date, time, and location of the accident and contact information for all witnesses. If the police were called for the accident, try to get the official police report. This report will often include eyewitness accounts and information from when the police interviewed them. In your written account, be sure to also include the year, make, model, and license plate number for all cars involved and the location of damage on each vehicle.
- Your automobile insurance: Your attorney will likely want a copy of the declarations page of your auto insurance. This is the page that states your policy's limits. Be sure that you have a copy ready or know how to contact your insurance agent so that they can send it to your car accident lawyer. If you have reported the claim, give the claim number and adjuster's contact information to your lawyer.
- Relevant medical information: If you are hurt in a car accident, give your attorney a complete list of every injury you suffered. You will also want to provide your car accident lawyer with a list of contact information for every medical provider you saw in connection with the injuries. To be compensated for medical bills, your lawyer will need copies of them, including co-pay and prescription receipts. If you have health insurance that covered some of the costs, give your lawyer copies of the Explanation of Benefits forms.
- Prior claims: When you have made prior injury claims, your lawyer should know about them. These are especially important if they involved injuries to the same areas affected in the car accident. Any contact information you have for the medical providers you saw then will be helpful to your attorney.
While you should provide your own lawyer with all relevant information, do not give any recorded or written statements to the other driver or their insurance company. These statements can be taken out of context and used against you later. Focus on what you can provide to your car accident lawyer, and they will take care of the rest.