If you find yourself involved in a car accident in or around the Indianapolis area, the first step should always be the same: seek immediate medical attention for your injuries. But once you are safe and on the road to recovery, you may be wondering: What’s next?
Step 1: Find an Experienced Indianapolis Car Accident Lawyer
When you’re trying to recover from a car accident, dealing with the insurance companies and paperwork can be intimidating. Fortunately, you don’t have to do it alone. The first step is to find an experienced Indianapolis car accident lawyer who can help you build your personal injury case. Your lawyer can help you gather the evidence you need to fight for the compensation you deserve.
Step 2: Gather Your Records
For any personal injury case, it is up to the injured party (and/or their personal injury lawyer) to prove that the party they are suing is liable for any injuries and/or damages to property. Therefore, it is of utmost importance that the injured party collect any records, bills, statements and photos that support their case.
These records include:
The Police Report
The police report is one of the most important documents to have at your fingertips when you need to look at the facts. It contains an unbiased description of the events as well as any eyewitness accounts and contact information for all parties involved. It should be easy to obtain using the reference number given to you by the police officer who responded to the scene. Although usually not permitted in court, it is often used and referenced throughout the claims process.
Car Repair Records
It’s also important to retain your car repair bills in order to receive compensation for any damages. Additionally, it will be helpful to know the market value of your car before the accident as well as any statements received from your car insurance company.
In addition to written records, having photo evidence of the scene of the accident, and any property damage and/or injuries can add credibility to your case, especially if there are any disputed claims or discrepancies. Not only that, but the images can also help others visualize the extent of the harm incurred.
To receive enough compensation to cover all your medical expenses, it’s important to keep careful records of any medical treatment you received from the moment of the accident until you make a full recovery. This includes records of any ambulance bills, emergency room visits, hospital stays, diagnostic tests, medications, doctor appointments and therapy sessions. These records will provide a better picture of the severity of the injury, including any long-term disabilities and future losses to income and quality of life.
Employment and Income Records
To calculate lost wages, you should collect any recent W2 forms or pay stubs starting from 3-6 months before the accident. In addition, you should keep all your bank statements such as savings accounts, investment accounts, and profit/loss statements for business accounts. It’s also a good idea to maintain a resume containing your work history to help predict future lost wages.
Step 3: Organize Your Records
Once you’ve gathered your documentation, make sure it’s organized in a logical way, such as chronological order. This will make it easier for you and/or your car accident lawyer in Indianapolis to access information quickly when necessary.
Here are some other benefits:
Helps Determine Chronological Order
Having records organized in chronological order helps to create an accurate timeline of the accident as well as your road to recovery.
Helps You Accurately Calculate Your Losses
After an accident, it’s difficult to keep up with the phone calls, bills, appointments, and paperwork. Maintaining accurate records as you go along helps account for every expense to calculate a compensation amount that is accurate and fair.
Having Medical Documentation at Your Fingertips
Filing a personal injury claim can be complicated, so it’s important to have easy access to any information that may be needed by lawyers, billing departments, and insurance companies.
A Personal Journal is Also Crucial
While most people keep careful records of their medical bills, they may not always consider losses that cannot be quantified, such as mental and emotional pain and suffering. Therefore, it’s a good idea to keep a daily journal detailing how you have been affected by the accident.
Contact the Indianapolis Car Accident Attorneys at Wagner Reese
Keeping accurate records will help make the process of filing a personal injury claim a little less stressful and give you and your legal team the best chance for success. If you or a loved one have been injured in an accident, contact Wagner Reese Car Accident Lawyers to advocate on your behalf. For more than 20 years, we are the car accident lawyers Indianapolis residents have relied on to handle their car accident cases. Schedule your free consultation today!