When you find yourself in a car accident it can be extremely overwhelming. You may find yourself in a state of shock, left without an idea of what to do next. However, it is extremely important to remember to document several things when you have been in a crash, as they can serve to best help you recover damages for injuries incurred to you and your property. Here are five things to document when you have been involved in a car accident.
1. Police Report
When a police officer comes to the scene of an accident, he or she generally prepares a police report, often referred to as an accident or incident report. This report is generally very valuable when it comes to an insurance claim or a lawsuit for personal injury, as it can assist in determining the circumstances of the case.
2. Medical Records
Be sure to have copies of all records related to treatment such as diagnoses, treatment recommendations, medications prescribed, opinions and conclusions from a healthcare provider. This also includes billing information. If you are not given a copy, larger hospitals and providers may require that you contact their billing department, which may take some time to process.
3. Records Proving Income
Sometimes an injury causes us to miss time at work and therefore lose out on income. Keep copies of paycheck stubs, tip records, direct deposit records, and anything else related to income lost while not at work due to the accident.
4. Vehicle Damage Estimates and Proof of Value
A lot of the time, when you have been injured in a car accident, your vehicle also incurs damage. Since you will want these repairs paid for, it is good to have the actual cash value of the vehicle prior to the accident, as well as the price of the repairs. Depending upon what policy you have, the insurance company may be responsible for estimating the damages.
5. Written Self-Account/Journal
It is easy for things to fade from your memory as time continues to move forward. That’s why it is often extremely helpful to write down the specifics of all relevant information while it is fresh in your mind. This includes your injuries and how they are impacting your daily routine. It is also very helpful to document as much information as possible, such as:
- The direction each car was headed
- Each car’s speed
- Road and weather conditions.
- Any distractions
- What was said and done after the accident
- Other drivers’ names and car insurance information
Taking pictures is a good way to document these things, as pictures are better proof than simply your word. You may want to take pictures of the following:
- Each corner of all vehicles involved
- The locations of all vehicles involved
- The license plates of all vehicles involved
- Any interior damage to any vehicle involved
- Any markings or debris created by the accident
Consult with a Qualified Car Accident Attorney
If you or a loved one has been injured in a car accident due to the negligence of someone else, contact Gauthier Amedee today at 225-647-1700 or fill out our online form to schedule a free case evaluation.