Tips to Stay Organized and On Track After an Auto Accident
Legally Reviewed and Edited by: Terry Cochran
One of the most important things to know how to do after an auto accident is to keep your documentation organized. This is because the more organized you are, the better the chances of winning your claim.
When you file a personal injury lawsuit following an auto accident, the documentation will be used to support your claim. But you will almost certainly be faced with a considerable amount of paperwork, and disorganization can contribute to feelings of being overwhelmed. With an attorney in your corner and your documentation prepared, pursuing an auto accident claim is more manageable.
Classifying Your Documentation
The following are the most important documents you need to arrange, compile, and organize after a motor vehicle accident:
Law Enforcement Reports
When you’ve been in a car crash, the first thing to do after checking for injuries is call 911. When police officers arrive at the accident scene, they prepare an accident report by evaluating the scene and the potential cause. The report will evidence the extent of damages and provide a record of witness statements. It will also assess whether any traffic violations were committed.
These reports are invaluable to your case, as they constitute the first objective assessment of the incident. Your attorney will require a copy of the police report that was filed, but you should also have a copy in your possession because it contains critical information that may jog your memory for more details pertaining to the accident.
If you were in a condition to do so following your accident, you likely took photos and made videos of the accident with your cell phone. Download these onto your computer and make backup digital files. Print out the photos and annotate what they represent on the back. Then file these printouts with the rest of your documentation.
If you speak with witnesses following an accident, make sure you obtain their contact information.
Your medical records – both those relating directly to your accident and your general health care records – can help to track your injuries and how they have affected you since your accident. You should also keep records and progress notes for rehabilitation specifically related to the accident, so don’t forget to ask your healthcare provider or therapist for copies of their own notes.
Keep records for all aspects of your treatment – diagnoses, medical care, physical therapy, prescribed medication, progress, and expenses. If possible, try to calculate the real costs of these using an insurance adjuster.
File these records chronologically in a folder that is easily accessible. This documentation will be crucial when your attorney negotiates with the other driver’s insurance company to obtain the highest possible settlement for you.
Keeping records of the expenses incurred due to your ordeal is also critical to your insurance claims. Compile all bills related to the accident and the medical bills following a hospital stay.
These should include visits to mental health professionals or dentists, and ulterior medical expenses like medication and medical devices such as crutches. It should also include transportation expenses to and from medical appointments and replacement services if incapacitation has rendered you incapable of daily chores and tasks.
Be Your Own Witness
In addition to all the official documentation you accrue, the best thing you can do to stay organized is to take your own notes. When you feel well enough to do so after an accident, try to write down everything you can from memory while it is still fresh.
Then, keep records of your daily life and what you notice about any physical changes due to the accident. Arrange these records chronologically. Take notes of conversations with your healthcare provider, your employer, and others who have a bearing on how you feel in light of the accident – even your friends and family.
Notes that are corroborated by others as to your health or state of mind can serve as evidence in a settlement case.
It’s best to keep all printed materials in one place, like a large folder, so you have easy access to them. Keep this folder in a safe place so you won’t lose or misplace it. In addition, take the time to scan and digitally backup all your files, so there are always several copies.
Being organized enables you to access any document or file you need when working through the case with your attorney. It is in your best interests to be organized because it is guaranteed to speed up the process. The more accurate and organized your documentation is, the faster your attorney can negotiate a satisfactory settlement on your behalf.
Cochran, Kroll & Associates, P.C., Personal Injury Attorneys
If you’ve been involved in a car accident in Michigan and have sustained injuries or other damages, you may have grounds for a personal injury lawsuit. In this case, you should contact the car accident lawyers at Cochran, Kroll & Associates, P.C. for a free consultation.
Our decades of experience securing car accident and other personal injury settlements for clients across the state is exemplified by our track record. Our contingency fee means we only get paid when we win your case, so there’s no risk to you if you decide to file a lawsuit.
If you are looking for an attorney who will guide you through the process and make staying organized simple, call 866-MICH-LAW today!
Disclaimer : The information provided is general and not for legal advice. The blogs are not intended to provide legal counsel and no attorney-client relationship is created nor intended.