When you are involved in an accident, part of the resolution process involves going through settlement negotiations with the other party's insurance company. Before entering the settlement process, you need to make sure that you have all the right information on hand so that you can negotiate for a fair settlement.
#1 Police Report
The first thing you are going to want to get your hands on is the police report from your accident. The police report will help establish what happened if there are still any lingering questions of responsibility about the accident. Be sure to request the police report right away, depending on the department, it may take you some time to obtain a copy of the police report.
Second, if any pictures were taken of the accident scene or your injuries, make sure that you have copies of the picture. Copies of the accident scene will help establish the extent of damage that occurred; even pictures of your vehicle after the accident can show what happened.
Pictures of the injury can be important to. Hearing that someone had extensive bruising and injuries is one thing; seeing it is another.
#3 Medical Records
Third, you need to make sure that you have access to your medical records as they relate to the injuries that you sustained. You should have documentation of all the medical care that you received as well as your medical bills. It can take a while for doctors to issue bills, so you may need to ask for copies of your medical bills to facilitate this process. Make sure that your medical records directly state that your care is related to the accident that you were involved in.
#4 Work Records
If you missed any work due to the accident, make sure that you have documentation of that as well. You may want a note from your boss or company that states the days that you missed work due to the accident, or that states that your hours had to be cut back as you recovered from the accident. Make sure that you support the number of hours that you normally work with previous time cards.
#5 Personal Records
Finally, make sure that you keep personal records of how the accident has impacted you. Did you have to change up your routine? Did you have to get extra help completing tasks? Did you have to not do something that you would normally do? Any changes in your life due to the accident can be used as evidence to support your settlement.
Before you start to negotiate the settlement for the accident that you were involved in, make sure that you have the right supporting documents available. If you don't have the right supporting documents, spend some time gathering and collecting them. Contact an auto accident lawyer for more help.
After being involved in a serious auto accident with a drunk driver, I struggled heavily with getting the driver's insurance company to open a claim. When the insurance company started pushing back, I knew I needed to do something. I spent a lot of time digging through the laws surrounding auto accident claims so that I knew what my legal rights were. I even talked with an auto accident attorney. I created this site to teach others about what I learned, including my court experience. I hope it helps you to determine how you should proceed with your auto accident case.