You may believe you have an iron-clad case against the driver who caused your car accident. However, you must be prepared to prove your right to compensation for injuries, lost wages, pain and suffering, and other damages.
Various types of evidence are the building blocks for developing a strong case. You can never have enough evidence—and you need to start collecting it right away after the incident.
Top Types of Evidence You Need When Filing a Car Accident Claim
You need to prove the other driver’s negligence in causing your accident and your injuries, the seriousness of all damages, and the amount of compensation you deserve. Here are some crucial forms of evidence that can help maximize your settlement.
Pictures can help prove the cause of the accident and vividly show all aspects of damage. Take photos with your cellphone of the vehicles, accident scene, weather and road conditions, your injuries, and anything else you think might be relevant. If you're too injured to do this, ask a passenger or witness to do it for you.
The police report contains important details regarding the other motorist’s negligence, which helps position your case with his or her insurance company. Some of the information it may have includes:
- Contact information for the other driver and his insurance company
- The other driver’s statement
- Witnesses' contact information and in some cases, their statements
- Narration of how the accident occurred
- Officer’s conclusions as to who was at fault
- Any citations issued
- Diagrams of the collision scene
Vehicle’s Event Data Recorder
Some motor vehicles have a black box. Its data can provide information as to the vehicles' speed, braking, steering, and other details that help to establish the cause of your crash.
You should save your clothes in the condition they were in after your accident. Take pictures of them, and then seal them in a plastic bag. If your case goes to trial, your clothes can be compelling evidence to show to the jury.
Neutral bystanders who saw your accident can be strong witnesses who can corroborate how it occurred. If there were witnesses to your accident, get their contact information immediately. It's also critical to ask for their statements while their memories are fresh or before the individuals can't be found.
If you were injured, you'll most likely need a medical expert. This physician will be able to explain how the accident caused your injuries, your past and future medical treatments, and your final prognosis.
Depending on the disputes in your case, you may need legal assistance to request other types of expert witnesses. Common ones helpful in car accident cases include:
- Accident reconstruction expert
- Physical therapist
- Vocational therapist
- Economic expert
Medical Records and Bills
Keep copies of your medical records to document injuries and treatments. Your medical bills help establish the expenses you paid for and what should be included in your settlement.
Paystubs and Income Tax Returns
If you were unable to work during injury recovery, you're entitled to be compensated for wage losses. Your paystub and income tax returns help a knowledgeable car accident attorney determine the value of this portion of your claim.
Repair Bills for Your Vehicle
Keep your vehicle repair estimates and receipts to document the amounts necessary to include in your compensation package. Remember to save your receipts for towing costs, car rental fees, and any other property damage repair or replacement, and include them in your property damage claim.
You'll need a copy of the at-fault driver’s insurance policy to determine the amount of liability coverage he has to provide proper compensation for your claim. You should also review your carrier's policy for uninsured, underinsured, and other insurance coverages that might help fully compensate you if the other motorist has insufficient coverage—or none at all.
Let an Experienced Car Accident Attorney Collect the Evidence You Need
It can be overwhelming to think about collecting all this evidence on your own. Fortunately, you don't need to do this by yourself. I can help you identify the evidence you need to hold the negligent driver accountable and assist you in pulling it all together. I'll also aggressively fight to pursue all the compensation you deserve.
Find essential information about filing a claim following a car accident by ordering my free book, The 10 Secrets to Know About Your Injury Case Before You Call an Attorney. Also, call my office to schedule an appointment to discuss your accident and how I can help you.