Nobody puts a car accident on their to-do list. Yet, there are over 6 million accidents every year in the US alone. That means you’ll almost inevitably end up in one sooner or later.
Once you get into an accident, though, the last thing you need is an unexpected legal action. The best way you can avoid that is with the help of a car accident attorney.
When you first meet with your lawyer about the collision, you should make sure you bring along these five essential documents.
- Police Report
Following an accident, you must call the police immediately. This ensures that an objective third party arrives and collects information. The police will then write up a report that you and the other driver can access.
Your lawyer will need this report to help develop an appropriate strategy based on the facts.
- Insurance Documents
You should also bring along any insurance documents, such as your car insurance policy. If you corresponded with your insurance company about the accident before you talked with a lawyer, bring copies of those letters or emails as well.
The lawyer uses these documents to help understand your coverage and your insurance companies overall position about the accident. If you’re at fault, for example, the insurance company will likely press for a quick settlement.
- On Scene Evidence
Assuming you didn’t go straight to the hospital, you likely took some pictures of the accident scene with your phone. It’s even better if you took some video of the scene.
Your lawyer can use that evidence to help defend you if you got traffic tickets for the accident at the scene. It also means that you won’t depend on someone else’s photo or video evidence.
- Medical Documents
Even if you didn’t receive any obvious injuries during the accident, you should still go see a doctor immediately. Injuries can take a little time before they become apparent.
A physician can often spot telltale evidence of injuries that you might miss. It may also provide X-ray images that will prove useful later. Big medical bills factor into compensation in a settlement.
- Financial Documents
Even minor accidents can cost you in terms of your paycheck and auto repairs. Bring along any documents that show that you lost wages because of the accident. Also, provide any towing and repair bills.
These documents can play a role in how much compensation you get in a settlement.
Give Your Car Accident Attorney All of the Documents
Your car accident attorney can only do their job with all of the information. Even if you feel like some of the bills are your responsibility, bring them along. Your lawyer will decide if they’re relevant.
Never hide information or documents from your attorney. A complete picture will get you much better representation in court. If your lawyer gets blindsided because you hid information, it can sink your case.
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