Personal injury attorneys from The Burkett Law Firm understand how traumatic being involved in a collision can be. Along with the damage to your personal property, you may have serious injuries to contend with.
While seeking medical attention should always be a priority after an accident, victims should also try to collect information and evidence at the scene if they can. As time passes, evidence can be destroyed or disappear. Also, your recollection of what happened may become fuzzy. The same is true for witnesses who saw the accident.
Knowing what information to collect can help you act quickly and protect your rights to recover compensation from the at-fault party. You can also count on our Texas car accident lawyer from The Burkett Law Firm to help you with this process.
Keep reading to find out what type of information you should collect after a Texas car accident.
The Police Report
After you are involved in a car accident, you should call the authorities right away. This is necessary no matter how serious the accident was. A law enforcement officer will come to the accident scene. While there, they will create an official police report. Sometimes, this is done at the scene, but some officers do it after they leave. The official report is often called the “accident report” or “incident report.”
This is an important document in any accident. It will include information that’s essential for your insurance claim or your personal injury lawsuit. The report will include information about traffic law violations, possible causes, statements from everyone involved about what happened, statements from any witnesses, and more.
You will probably not be given a copy of the police report at the scene. Instead, you will have to go to the local police station where the responding officer works. When you go to get this report, you will have to provide certain information, which typically includes:
- Location and date of your accident (approximate street address or an intersection is usually sufficient)
- Names of all drivers involved in the accident
- The badge number and name of the officer who responded to the scene and created the report
If you can’t find the police report created for your accident, our car accident attorneys can do this for you.
All Accident-Related Medical Records
Did you experience injuries in your car accident? Or did you seek an evaluation as a precautionary step? If so, make sure to get copies of the records created when you were treated and any bills you received for medical care and treatment.
Be sure to request copies of medical records from each healthcare provider you see. You need each phase of treatment accounted for. The documentation you gather should include treatment provided, diagnosis given, recommended treatments, medications you were prescribed, and any other conclusions that a healthcare provider gives you.
It’s important to stay organized and create a dedicated file for all your medical records. Try to keep them in order chronologically, which will help you find something if needed.
Some of the medical records you should collect and organize include:
- Emergency medical services. This includes riding in an ambulance or treatment you were given at the scene. Usually, paramedics and ambulances are affiliated with the count, city, or town where your accident occurred. It is also possible that you were treated and transported by a private company, which you would have to contact to get your records.
- Services rendered in an ER. If you went to the emergency room, you should receive a bill and statement. You need to gather information on any treatment or testing done, such as stitches, X-rays, surgery, etc.
- Admission to the hospital. Request all records from your time at the hospital.
- Prescriptions. All medications you were given or prescribed should be recorded.
- Other care services. If you receive physical therapy, psychological treatment, chiropractic care, or treatment from another specialist, be sure to request your records.
Maintaining a detailed account of these records when they are created will help you save time and money. Your attorney will also request copies of these documents when filing a personal injury claim on your behalf.
Did you have to miss work due to the injuries sustained in your car accident? If so, it may be possible to receive compensation for your lost income. If you move forward and file a personal injury lawsuit, you must provide proof of any lost income you had.
It’s possible to do this by gathering your direct deposit records, paycheck stubs, records of your tips, and other documents from your employer that prove how much income you lost because of time missed after a car accident. It’s also smart to keep copies of any emails between you and your employer related to why you could not go to work.
If the accident caused injuries that resulted in you being unable to earn as much as you did, and this is a permanent reduction, it may be possible to recover compensation for the income you would have earned over time. If this occurs in your case, it’s even more important to keep your job-related records organized.
Estimates for Vehicle Damage and Vehicle Value Proof
Beyond injuries, you may also experience property damage in a car accident. If your vehicle was damaged, you might be able to recover the repair costs by filing a lawsuit against the driver responsible for your accident. To determine the amount of money to ask for, you need to know the cost of repairing your vehicle. In some situations, this could be the actual cash value of the vehicle right before the accident occurred.
Sometimes, the insurance company will handle the damage estimate for your vehicle. In other situations, getting a repair estimate from different body shops and auto mechanics may be possible. If your vehicle is totaled, then you can use a resource like Kelley Blue Book to determine what the fair market value of your vehicle was right before you were in an accident.
Create a Car Accident Journal or Diary
Writing a detailed and chronological record of life after your car accident is a good idea. Write down a statement about the incident right after it occurred. This will ensure the memory is fresh and that you remember all the details about what happened.
Take notes on any communication you have with the other parties involved in the accident or the insurance companies. If you were injured, write how you feel each day and record medical appointments, treatments, and other related information.
Having a journal of how you felt and everything you had to go through because of a car accident can help you show why you deserve pain and suffering damages. It will also help your lawyer better understand what occurred and how to best represent your case.
Don’t Wait to Contact a Texas Car Accident Lawyer for Help with Your Case
If you are involved in a car accident in Texas, you should contact car accident attorneys at The Burkett Law Firm immediately. Our legal team will get to work to provide you with the services you need to help you recover the compensation you deserve for your injuries and damages. We have years of experience representing cases just like yours and can help you through the legal process.
The first step is to reach out and schedule a free, no-obligation initial consultation. We will get the facts and work to build a strategy to move forward with your case.