What Evidence Do You Need After a Car Accident?
Posted in Motor Vehicle Accidents on March 9, 2021
Texas, like most states, follows a fault-based system for car accidents. If you are in a collision that someone else caused, you may be eligible to receive full compensation for your medical expenses, lost wages, and pain and suffering. To secure this compensation, you will likely need to file a claim with the at-fault driver’s insurance company.
However, it is not enough to simply notify the company of your accident—you will need to provide evidence that proves the other driver caused it. There are several pieces of evidence that you can use to support your claim.
Records to Gather After a Car Accident
The success of your claim depends on your ability to prove two important facts: the driver’s fault and the extent of your physical, emotional, and financial losses, also known as damages. To strengthen your claim, you will need to have evidence to support each claim you make and each loss you claim. Written documents and records often serve as the strongest form of evidence in a car accident claim.
After your accident, gather the following records and bring them to your attorney.
- Police reports: After your accident, a police officer likely responded to the scene and created a report based on the interviews and observations he or she conducted. This police report likely includes information that will be crucial for your claim, including statements, the name and date of the car or motorcycle collision, and whether either driver violated traffic laws. You can contact the police station to obtain a copy of your report.
- Medical records: Whether you suffered major injuries or visited the doctor for a precautionary exam, you should always obtain all collision-related medical records after your accident. Your medical records will establish the nature and extent of your injuries as well as the diagnosis and treatment you received. You can use these records to prove causation and establish your right to certain damages.
- Proof of lost wages: You may have had to take time off work to recover from and receive treatment for your injuries. You can use your paycheck stubs, direct deposit records, correspondence with your employer, and any other documents showing the amount of compensation you lost due to the accident.
- Vehicle valuation and repair documents: If your vehicle sustained damage in the accident, you could recover compensation for repairs or replacement. You will need to gather documents that show the actual cash value of your car before the accident, as well as vehicle repair estimates or invoices from different repair shops.
Importance of Witness Statements
While these documents can form a strong foundation for your car accident claim, they are not the only form of evidence you can use. You can prove your right to damages using statements from witnesses who saw the accident happen. Immediately after the collision, ask witnesses in the area for their contact information in case they would like to provide testimony on your behalf.
Witness statements are crucial for several reasons. It is important to remember that the insurance company’s goal is to determine fault, and the company has a duty to protect the policyholder from accusations of fault. It will conduct a thorough investigation of your claim and may deny compensation for several reasons, such as unclear liability or lack of evidence.
Witnesses can provide independent accounts of the accident-free from bias or self-interest, helping the insurance company gain a clear picture of how the accident occurred. You can use these statements to defend yourself against accusations of liability, identify inconsistencies, and validate the cause of your injuries.
If you are in a collision in Texas, a lawyer can help prove your right to compensation. Contact an Edinburg car accident lawyer as soon as possible to review your case and discuss your legal options.