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In a personal injury lawsuit, it is generally easier to prove that the other party was at fault when strong evidence is presented. After a car accident, individuals who are seeking financial damages can use witness statements, information exchanged at the scene or a police report to build their case. When pursuing a car accident lawsuit, here are 8 documents someone involved in a car accident should show their attorney:
When an accident occurs, someone at the scene will need to call for help. When the police arrive, they will create a report and may make a preliminary ruling as to who caused the accident. While this determination may be modified or overturned as more evidence emerges, it can be a powerful way to establish that another party was at fault for causing the accident. This may provide an individual with leverage in settlement talks or when the case goes to trial.
In some cases, one or more drivers involved in an accident will be issued traffic tickets. This may happen if a driver was under the influence of alcohol or drugs or was distracted at the time of the crash. Tickets may also be issued if a driver was speeding or otherwise acting in an unsafe manner at the time of the accident.
It is possible that all drivers involved in the accident will be cited for traffic or other violations. This may be used against a driver who was injured in a car accident. However, an attorney may be able to review the ticket and create an argument as to why it doesn't necessarily increase a driver's liability for the crash taking place.
It is illegal to drive in most states without a valid insurance policy. If the accident took place outside of your home state, your policy is generally valid if you have made the premium payments on time. If your policy has expired or otherwise fails to meet the minimum standards in your home state, that may be used against you. Legal counsel for the injured victim may be able to create a defense as to why the policy expired or otherwise wasn't up to minimum standards to help the client get the maximum compensation available.
Those who are seeking compensation in a car accident lawsuit have many ways to prove that they have paid their car insurance premium. For instance, it may be possible to show copies of checks sent to the insurance company. It may also be possible to show bank statements with the date that the last payment was made and the amount of that payment. If the payment was made with a credit card, a credit card statement may be used as proof that it was made on time.
It is important that individuals know what to do after a car accident. One of the most critical steps to take after calling the police is to exchange information at the scene. Typically, drivers will exchange insurance information as well as provide their names, addresses, and driver's license and phone numbers.
In some cases, it may be appropriate to share email addresses or social media contact information in lieu of a physical address or phone number. Whatever information is exchanged should be kept in a secure place and shared with an attorney at some point in the legal process.
After an accident, there may be one or more statements made to police. At a minimum, the drivers involved will give police their version of events at the crash scene. Those involved in the accident may also give a statement to their insurance companies. Furthermore, anyone who witnessed the accident may also give a statement to police describing what they saw. All of this information is likely to be relevant in a personal injury lawsuit, and original statements may be especially useful if anyone changes their story in the future. If a statement is especially powerful, it could be used as the basis for a summary judgment.
Medical records may indicate whether an individual sought medical treatment after a crash and what type of treatment was received. They may also indicate whether an individual had underlying medical issues prior to the crash that may have been exacerbated by the accident.
Individuals may be entitled to lost wages and lost future earnings after being hurt in a car crash. Lost future earnings may be based on current pay records, which means that an individual should provide pay stubs at a minimum to his or her attorney. Recent tax returns and other financial documents may also be helpful in determining how much an individual stands to lose if he or she is unable to return to work.
This article is intended to be helpful and informative. But even common legal matters can become complex and stressful. A qualified auto accident lawyer can address your particular legal needs, explain the law, and represent you in court. Take the first step now and contact a local auto accident attorney to discuss your specific legal situation.