What Information Does My Car Accident Lawyer Need From Me?

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Serious car accidents often result in major physical and financial consequences. If you suffered an injury from a car accident caused by a negligent driver, you deserve compensation for your losses. When you hire a car accident lawyer, you relieve much of the burden of your case, and the first step is providing him or her with all the necessary information to properly value your claim and get started with your case.

Information Collected From the Accident That Your Lawyer Needs to Prove Your Case

Composing yourself and thinking clearly is very difficult in the moments following a car accident. However, the information that you collect is vital to your case, and the more information you have, the more difficult it will be for the defendant’s insurer to contest your claim.

What You Should Do After a Car Accident

Every car accident is different, and not everyone is able to stop and collect themselves after, especially if you suffered serious injuries. However, if you followed any of these steps after the accident, provide the information you have to your car accident attorney:

  • Look for injuries. The first thing you do in the wake of a car accident is always to assess yourself and your passengers for injuries.
  • Seek medical attention. If anyone is severely injured, call emergency medical services immediately and wait for them to arrive. If your injuries are not severe enough for emergency services, see your primary care physician as soon as possible. The shock of a collision will produce a rush of adrenaline that dulls pain receptors and could disguise serious injuries for up to several days. Seeing a medical professional immediately could save you from potentially irreparable damage and disability. 
  • Contact the police and wait for them. When officers arrive, they will conduct an investigation into the accident and potentially determine fault.
  • Collect the names and information of everyone. You need the contact and insurance information from the other driver the names and contact information for all other passengers and witnesses. 
  • Take photos. Photograph everything surrounding the accident, including the damage on your vehicle, the positions of the vehicles, the surrounding area, road signs, and your injuries.
  • Document everything. Write down everything that happened before, during, and after the accident while it is still fresh in your memory. 
  • Contact an attorney 

The initial contact with a car accident lawyer entails a case consultation in which the lawyer decides whether or not he or she will take on your case. Once you have legal representation, you provide everything you collected from the scene of the accident:

  • Photographs
  • The statement or video describing the details of the accident
  • Information you collected from anyone else involved 

If you do not have some of these things, do not worry. Your attorney will help you collect the evidence available to you.

Documents Your Car Accident Lawyer Needs To Value Your Claim

The majority of documentation that your attorney needs is specific to the valuation of your claim. The value of your claim is based on the damages, which are the losses you incurred from the accident.

Damages include economic and non-economic losses:

  • Cost of medical treatment
  • Cost of future medical treatment
  • Loss of wages
  • Loss of future wages
  • Loss of earning potential 
  • Loss of consortium
  • Damage to property
  • Pain and suffering 
  • Emotional distress 
  • Mental anguish
  • Loss of enjoyment in life
  • Wrongful death

The economic damages, such as medical treatment, lost wages, and property damage, have numerical value and are easily quantified. The non-economic damages, such as pain and suffering and emotional distress, are assigned numerical value by looking at previous cases of a similar nature. Your lawyer can help you value your claim when you provide the necessary documentation.

Police Reports and Records

After the police arrive at the scene of the accident, they begin an investigation to determine what happened and who is at fault. Sometimes the party that bears responsibility is obvious, and the police include that in the report. Sometimes determining liability is more complicated, but both the insurance company and your lawyer will investigate individually to draw more conclusions.

Either way, your lawyer needs the police report and records of the accident. If you did not obtain a copy of the report at the time of the accident, you may request one online through the department website. You may also go to the station in person and request a copy.

Records of Your Medical Costs

Seeking medical attention after the accident is important for both your health and your case. The doctor records your injuries and the causes to include in your medical records. You provide those records to your lawyer to prove that your injuries were sustained as a result of the accident.

You also need copies of your medical bills as proof of your claim. If your injuries require long-term treatment, you can ask your doctor for an itemized treatment plan to identify future costs of medical treatment.

Pay Stubs

Your lawyer can use your recent pay stubs to calculate and prove a loss of wages. You may also provide other financial documents, such as your previous year’s tax return, to calculate a future loss of wages or loss of earning capability.

Documentation of Pain and Suffering

Evidence you can use to prove pain and suffering include:

  • Your own written or spoken testimony 
  • Your medical records
  • Testimonies from your friends and family
  • Record of your prescription medications for pain or mental health issues, such as depression, anxiety, or post-traumatic stress disorder
  • Opinions from medical experts, such as doctors, psychologists, psychiatrists, or therapists

You even keep a pain journal to document everything from your daily experience with pain to the way it makes you feel and the amount of medication you need to help it.

What a Car Accident Can Do for You

There are many advantages to hiring a car accident lawyer. The most significant is that having legal representation throughout the process of a personal injury case is great support. Other advantages of car accident lawyers include:

  • They guide you through the complex legal process and inform you of your rights. 
  • They possess the negotiation skills to get you a fair settlement.
  • They prepare your case for trial even though most personal injury cases end in settlement.
  • They conduct a thorough investigation of the accident scene to collect evidence proving the liability of the other party.
  • They have access to experts that can help build your case.
  • They handle talking to the insurance adjuster for you, and insurance adjusters conduct themselves more professionally when dealing with a lawyer. 
  • They support you through the healing process.
  • They understand how to properly value your claim to ensure that you receive the compensation that you deserve. 
  • They usually work on contingency, which means that they only receive a payment if you collect an award.

Car accidents have a major impact on those involved and their families. The first step in recovering the financial damage you suffered is to hire a law firm with compassion and the resources to help you. If you are concerned about being able to afford an attorney, Mike Morse Law Firm does not get paid until you get paid. Contact our firm today and speak with an experienced attorney about your case.

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