After a car accident, you have the right to seek compensation for your injuries. That right does not guarantee that you will receive the payment you deserve, and seeking the compensation that you are rightfully entitled to practically requires that you hire an experienced car accident lawyer.
Once you do, however, you will need to know the information and documents your attorney will need from you to get the job done.
Insurance Information and Documents
When you hire the services of a car accident lawyer, you must present them with your car insurance information and documents, including proof of payment of your premiums, all of which will help your attorney identify the sources of compensation available to you in light of the details of your car accident.
For example, if you have PIP insurance (which is mandatory in the state of Florida), your attorney will determine the number of your losses that PIP will cover and whether you have just cause to file a claim against another insurance policy, such as the other driver’s.
If the other driver does not have insurance, your attorney will review your claim to determine whether you have access to uninsured motorist coverage that may compensate you for losses not covered by PIP.
Accident and Police Reports
If you or a loved one are in an accident that causes injury, death, or an estimated $500 or more in property damage, you must report the accident to law enforcement. Failure to do so can result in fines and problems down the line.
In addition, your car accident lawyer will want to see the accident report, as it will serve as strong evidence of what occurred and who may be liable, as well as the police report if one exists. Police reports at accident scenes are typically made when a crime is committed.
Evidence of Fault
Your police and accident report likely contain solid evidence that your attorney can use to fight on your behalf. However, other forms of evidence can be collected that will also be helpful to your claim, such as:
- Dashcam video
- Photos and video footage of the crash scene
- Witness statements
- Before and after photos and video of your vehicle
Keep in mind that safety always comes first at a car accident scene, which means you should never put yourself or others in danger when trying to collect evidence at the scene of a wreck.
Much of the compensation you receive following a car accident comes from your injuries. Therefore, you must have strong evidence of your injuries, and nothing will demonstrate that as well as your medical records do.
Your car accident lawyer will understand that insurance companies and defense attorneys can quickly attack the validity of injuries in the absence of a timely medical report. For example, a medical report made long after an accident has taken place becomes suspicious. As such, it’s vital that you seek immediate medical care after you’ve sustained an injury in an accident.
Work and Salary Information
Your car accident lawyer will also want to review the documents and information related to your employment, as you are entitled to seek compensation for lost wages. Under PIP insurance coverage, you can pursue up to 60% of your lost wages up to $10,000, and in a claim against the other driver’s insurance, you can even seek to receive the full amount of your lost wages.
With that in mind, your attorney will need records demonstrating your pre-accident salary. These may take the form of pay stubs, account balances, or check copies. Additionally, your attorney will need to show how much work you have missed and will miss, which means they’ll need a copy of your normal work schedule or statements from your boss or clients saying that you’ve missed work.
Bills and Expenses
Receipts and account balances that show the expenses you have incurred as a result of your accident are important pieces of evidence. They give the exact totals of your financial losses and thus help calculate the compensation you can receive.
Personal Life Information
If you’re seeking compensation from the other driver’s insurance company or from a source in addition to PIP, your attorney will likely want documents and information about your personal life and how your injuries have negatively impacted how you engage with your family and community. This evidence, which may be contained in counseling sessions and sessions with psychiatrists or psychologists, will form the basis of a claim for many of your non-economic damages, such as loss of enjoyment of life and emotional distress.
When it comes to claims for compensation, the bottom line is that the more information you have for your car accident lawyer, the easier it will be for them to represent you and resolve your case promptly. Contact the Schrier Law Group for a free consultation today.