In cases of auto accidents, getting relief from personal injury and liability insurance claims will compensate the damages. However, none of this will proceed without the all important evidence that will show that your accident left you with damages, be they physical, financial psychological, or all three.
This is why it is crucial to collect as much evidence as possible from the time the accident occurred.
However, when you are severely injured and unable to move, it is best to get the assistance of other people to do the documenting for you.
You may call or have somebody call for relatives to immediately come to the scene of the accident or a personal injury attorney to facilitate the documentation.
Importance of Evidence in a Personal Injury Claim
You should note that if you will file a claim for personal injury, you carry the burden of proof of your claims. You need to also prove that you are not at fault.
Without documentation, you are not likely to be compensated by the other party's insurer.
It is easier for you to collect, preserve and document evidence for use in your claim if you are not severely injured and can move freely. However, if you are not able to do the documenting yourself, the investigation of the police in the scene, particularly the incident report they will prepare would be a big help with your insurance claim.
Be sure to get a copy of the report as part of the paperwork you will use to support your claim.
Paperwork You Should Keep for your Personal Injury Claim
There are many types of paperwork, and is dependent on the severity of the accident and the injuries sustained from it.
The following is an exhaustive list of documents/paperwork that you should have, if applicable, to help ensure you obtain the compensation you seek:
Official documents such as police reports, reconstruction of the accident from law enforcement or your attorney, recording of a 911 call, private investigation reports;
Statements, testimonies or notes from you, witnesses and other victims;
Out-of-pocket expenses, such as tow truck bills, auto repair bills, fare for travel to and from doctor's visits, etc.;
Medical bills, receipts for medical treatments, receipts for medications, copies of doctor’s examinations and reports (initial, on-going and for future needs), test results, X-rays, etc.;
Photos, audio, sketches, or video taken at the scene of the accident, such as photos of injuries, photos of damages to property, photos of road conditions, pictures of witnesses and others present in the scene, photos of the accident scene, sketch of the road, sketch of the position of the vehicles and directions they took and audios or videos of conversation with victims or witnesses;
Proof of lost wages such as time tracking receipts from lost work, pay stubs showing wages, pay slip, W2 forms, etc.;
Physical evidence such as the clothes worn in the accident, small damaged items, etc.;
Insurance-related documents, such as insurance cards, copies of policies, letters from insurance companies, etc.
Statement of accounts or bills, such as repair bills, repair estimates, medical bills, payments receipts;
Researched evidence, such as the other party’s criminal records, driving history etc.
Having this paperwork will make it difficult for any insurer to get you to agree to an unfair settlement. However, it is usually difficult for one person to collect all this, especially while recovering from injuries. Sometimes, it's simply easier and more efficient to work with a personal injury attorney.
Consulting with a Personal Injury Attorney
The amount of paperwork you should save for your personal injury claim is considerable. Without them however, no insurance company will even hear you out. They are therefore necessary and essential.
Given that you have gone through a car crash, it is likely that you may forget something or leave out important proof that could mean the failure of your claim.
It is best to acquire the help of an experience personal injury attorney who can make sure that what you have with you is strong enough, complete and accurate.
He can also check if each of your claims is well-supported with the paperwork you have and may be able to find the documents you lack. With the help of an attorney, you increase your odds of winning a personal injury claim.