Hurt in an auto accident? Learn what papers your lawyer will need you to provide for the best representation.
What could be less fun than getting into a car accident?
Wasting all your time assembling the paperwork afterwards so you can file a claim.
If you’re like most people, you don’t want to have to think about assembling paperwork. After all, you’re injured and are going through a lot of stress and uncertainty. You want to focus on taking care of that one day at a time – not assembling a paper trail to win your claim.
But, bringing as much evidence as possible to your free consultation with your personal injury attorney means they can give you a more accurate opinion of what they can do for you, given the unique facts of your case. You may not be able to assemble all this paperwork (for example, every last medical bill). But, the more you can bring, the better.
Here’s what you should ideally bring to your free initial consultation:
- Police Report
This carries a massive amount of weight in determining the outcome of your car accident case. If no police report exists you can still win your case but it could be a lot more difficult and costly to do so and could depend on witness testimony.
- Your Insurance Policy
If you don’t have a paper copy, simply request it from your insurance carrier. It can come into play if the other driver doesn’t have enough insurance or financial assets to cover your expenses. It also allows the attorney to determine if you have recoverable no-fault insurance proceeds under your own policy – such as Personal Injury Protection (PIP).
- Any Info You Collected from the Accident Scene
Ideally, you have a statement, name, address, and phone number from all the witnesses at the scene of the auto accident. You also have dozens of pictures, and maybe a video too.
- Initial Medical Information
Make sure you bring as many of your medical bills and records as possible. They can come from multiple vendors over the course of months or you might only have discharge paperwork from the hospital available at the initial meeting. Regardless, bring whatever medical documents are currently in your possession. Don’t fret though – your attorney will request a complete copy of all of your medical bills and records. Be sure to bring a list of all medical institutions and doctors who have evaluated or treated your injuries.
- Wage Statements from Prior to Your Accident
If you lose wages as a result of your car accident, you’ll need proof of what you earned before your accident, so you can show what you’ve lost. Also, your attorney should provide you with a loss of earnings form for you to have completed by a supervisor prior to your demand being submitted.
- Any Other Documents You Believe are Important
A good personal injury attorney will not mind reviewing whatever documents you choose to bring. Most lawyers will want as much information as possible to evaluate your case. If you think a document is critical to understand your claim, be sure to bring it.
No Matter How Organized You Are, You Probably Won’t Have Everything
Assembling all the paperwork related to your accident is hard, boring work. Even if you are the highly organized type, you may not be able to come up with each and every document.
Don’t worry. Lawyers will do this for you. However, you can save yourself time and money by bringing as much as you can.