3 Critical Records You Need for Your Auto Accident Claim
A successful auto accident claim requires credible evidence. The evidence comes in various forms, including records or documentary evidence. Below are three critical records that can strengthen your claim, plus how to get them.
1. Police Report
The police report contains both facts and opinions about the accident. Specific information the report may contain include:
- The accident’s date and time
- The accident’s location
- The weather at the time of the accident
- The identification of parties involved in the accident, plus their injuries
- The identification of vehicles involved in the accident, plus their respective damages
- The identification of potential witnesses
- The preliminary assessment on liability
You can use the police report to prove:
- The accident’s occurrence
- Your injuries and damages
- Liability for the accident
You can get a copy of the police report in the following ways.
Request the Police
If you have all the relevant facts, then the easiest way to get a copy of the police report is to submit a formal request to the police. You can do this if you have any of the following:
- The report’s identification number
- The law information agency that responded to the crash
- The date, time, and location of the accident
You will often need to pay an administrative fee (usually a few dollars only) for the report.
Request the Insurance Adjuster
Another option is to ask the adjuster handling your case for a copy of the report. The adjuster may give you a copy without any fee if they already have one.
Involve a Lawyer
You can also let your auto accident lawyer handle the whole process for you. This method works great if you are busy and you already have a lawyer. Provide your lawyer with the relevant details and let them get the report.
2. Medical Records
Your medical records contain your medical history, which significantly affects your claim. Your medical records contain numerous details, such as:
- Your injuries
- Your diagnoses
- Your treatments
- Your prognosis
- Your medications
You can use the records to prove:
- The injuries you suffered during the accident
- The costs of treatments you have undergone plus those you need
- The physical or mental limitations the accident has placed on your life
- Your damage mitigation efforts
You can request the records directly or through a third party acting as your personal representative. Personal representatives may include:
- Your parents
- Your legal guardians
- Your caregiver
- Your attorney
- Your health care proxy
You or your personal representative submits the request to the health provider with the records. The health provider may require your:
- Social Security number
- Account number
- Date of birth
Anyone who requests the records on your behalf must have your written authorization. You may submit the record via mail, fax, or online portals.
3. Income Records
Lastly, you may also need your income records to prove your lost income and loss of earning capacity. Income records include things like:
- Your employer
- How long you have been in employment
- Number of days you missed work
- Your usual income
- History of promotions
- History of employment benefits
- Missed work targets
How you get the records depends on how you get your income. For example, a simple letter from your employer will suffice if you are an employee. Just clarify the details you need — most employers will be happy to oblige. However, you should dig up your personal records on your own if you are self-employed and keep your own records.
Hopefully, you will get everything you need to succeed with your accident claim. The Law Firm of Herb Santos, Jr., can help you gather and present all the available evidence. Contact us for a free initial consultation to assess and start work on your claim.