If you’ve been involved in a car accident, you’re familiar with the stress and frustration that comes with it. How much will this encounter cost? Can you rely on the police report? What can you do to make your case as strong as possible?
As in any legal case, the burden will always be to prove what you’re claiming. Therefore, you have to be proactive and gather every bit of information to help substantiate your claim.
Records to Keep After a Car Accident
1. Name and badge number of the police officer
The police report itself is not enough. In fact, it is considered hearsay. Generally, hearsay is inadmissible evidence in court. The information in the report is useful for accident specifics, such as date, time, location, and names of those involved. But if you want a firsthand account of what the police officer at the scene saw, you’ll have to subpoena that officer to testify. Therefore, make sure to note the officer’s full name and badge number.
2. Pictures of damage to your car
These are important for two reasons: To provide an accurate representation of damages as well as providing an essential piece of the puzzle in reconstructing the accident (e.g. is the damage to your car consistent with witness testimony of what occurred).
3. Pictures of the scene of the accident
While you might think that writing down names of the cross streets is enough, pictures of the scene of the accident are also useful to identify nearby businesses that may have surveillance video of their surroundings. These videos may have captured the accident. Act quickly. In order to require a business to save surveillance footage, you need to send them a preservation letter instructing them to do so.
4. Names and contact information of all witnesses
Records are crucial to make your case as compelling as possible. However, witness testimony can help confirm your version of events; especially if you don’t know the witnesses and they have no reason to testify one way vs another. The Court will determine whether the testimony is credible.
5. Medical bills and records
In addition to all medical information related to the car accident, take stock of any previous injury. If the other party’s attorney learns that you were involved in a prior accident, or otherwise injured, they will try to apportion some or all of your current injuries on the previous accident in order to reduce or eliminate their potential liability.
6. Car repair estimates or receipts
You’ll need to provide evidence of these losses. If your car needs costly repairs, be ready to show a written estimate for repairs.
7. Work records
If you missed work due to the accident and are trying to recover lost wages or future earning potential, be prepared to provide copies of pay stubs, tax returns, work schedules, and possibly letters from your employer.
Call Clark Law If You’ve Been In a Car Accident in Tampa Bay
If you or someone you love has been involved in an auto accident, call us at (855) 680-4911 or schedule a free consultation. At Clark Law, we have experienced attorneys who regularly represent clients involved in motor vehicle accidents, and we can help you determine the best next step.
Disclaimer: This blog is for informational purposes only and does not create an attorney/client relationship.