Like a lot of things in life, the aftermath of a car accident involves a lot of paperwork. If you’re hiring a car accident attorney to represent you, you can jump-start your case by providing them with as many accident-related records as you can get. The more you information you can provide to him or her with your case, the better he or she can represent you, and the sooner they can start the process.
The Police Report
Police are usually first on the scene after an accident and provide the basics at the scene of the accident. While important, a police report may not have all the details. But you can’t file an insurance claim without one. Getting your police report before you visit and hire will save your attorney or his/her staff from spending time finding it.
The Kansas City Police Department offers two options for getting the police report for your accident. You can go online and order a copy for $9, or you can visit any Kansas City police station, bringing your photo ID and fees to get the report. (Scroll down on the page for instructions.)
Accident Scene Evidence
The police report is essential, but may not tell the whole story. If you are able, you (or an able passenger with you) should take as many pictures at the scene of the accident as you can. Of course, you’ll take pictures of your car, the damage it sustained, as well as any injuries you suffered in the accident. Take pictures all around your car, not just the damage. Pictures of the location, including street signs, cross streets, buildings, driveways, and other landmarks. Get different angles, not just from the accident site perspective. All these pictures can be saved in Google Docs, DropBox or other cloud-based spot, and copied onto a flash drive to deliver to your attorney.
Were there any witnesses to the accident? Get their names and contact information, including phone numbers, email and physical addresses. People may change phone numbers or emails, so it’s better to have more than one way to contact them. Better—take their picture (if they consent) and save it with their contact information.
Records showing your injuries and treatments for them are important to show how much you were injured. This includes emergency room and hospital records, doctor visits, tests and results, prescription records, physical therapy, and other related information.
Be cautious of signing blanket medical authorizations. If you have an unrelated medical condition (i.e., hypothyroidism) that’s not related to the accident, you don’t need to disclose it to a claims adjuster or insurance company. Your attorney can give you guidance on what to sign, and what to avoid signing.
· HIPPA, or the Health Insurance Portability and Accountability Act, ensures that your medical records are kept confidential. Don’t make the mistake of turning over every medical record you have—you only want to provide accident-related records. Claims adjusters will go through everything very carefully to find pre-existing conditions and other things that they may try to “prove” your injuries weren’t accident related and deny your claim.
Lost Wages/Proof Of Income
Of course, if you’ve missed work, it’s very likely you’ve also missed paychecks. Especially if you used all of your sick and vacation time, and are now on an unpaid leave.
Show how much the accident has cost you with paycheck stubs, W-2 forms or other documents that can adequately show your income. This can include your bank records, direct deposit slips, and any other financial records that can show how much the accident has cost you in lost wages.
Get Help From Kansas City’s Premier Car Accident Law Firm
A car accident is a difficult time. But you don’t have to go through it alone.
The Popham Law Firm has helped hundreds of people in all kinds of car accident cases. We’ll be happy to review your case, let you know if you have one, and how to proceed. Contact us today at (844) 243-2288 or (use our online contact form) to get started. The call is free, and so is the consultation, with no obligation.