What Documents Are Needed for a Car Accident Claim in Louisville?
A car accident claim in Louisville, Kentucky seeks to hold one or more parties financially responsible (liable) for the crash. This means making that person’s insurance company pay for a victim’s medical bills, property repairs and other losses. Before you can recover financial compensation, you or your car accident attorney must prove fault. A key type of evidence to support a car accident claim is documentation.
The Police Report
The police report is one of the first – and most important – documents connected to your car accident claim. You can obtain a police report by calling 911 from the scene of your crash. The responding police officer will gather facts and information about the crash and record it on paper in the police report.
Information found on a police report can include:
- The names of both drivers and their insurance information
- License plate numbers and vehicle descriptions
- The date and time of the car accident
- The crash location and any relevant landmarks
- Eyewitness and passenger information
- The officer’s opinion on the cause of the accident
Ask for your police report number before you leave the scene. Your insurance company will want this number to locate and review the report. You can also request a copy of the accident report for your own records by contacting the police department in Jefferson County a few days after the collision.
If you can, obtain the information of anyone who witnessed your car accident before you leave the scene. You can gather eyewitness statements from them right away or contact them later, after you have gone to the hospital. Signed eyewitness statements can provide additional facts and details about the car accident that can help you prove fault.
Go to the hospital immediately after your car accident for professional medical care. Tell the doctor about the car accident and describe any symptoms you are experiencing. Keep in mind that symptoms may not be immediate; you may have delayed symptoms. This is why it is important to see a doctor, even if you don’t think you are injured. Ask for copies of all relevant medical records, including x-rays, test results, treatment plans and prescriptions.
Photographs and Videos
Do your best to take pictures while you were still at the scene of your car accident. Photographs and videos taken of the crash, vehicle damage and injuries can serve as indisputable proof of fault. A photograph of the pothole that caused your crash, for example, can help you prove a case against the government even if the city repairs the pothole the next day.
Evidence of Your Losses
An insurance company will request evidence to prove that you suffered the losses you are claiming. If you are seeking insurance benefits for a totaled vehicle, for example, you will need to present evidence that an auto mechanic says your vehicle is a total loss. The types of evidence you will need to prove your losses depend on the specific circumstances of your case.
Common examples include:
- A letter from your doctor
- A letter from your employer
- Pay stubs or tax forms
- Vehicle repair bills
- An injury journal
- Expert witness testimony
- Testimony from friends and family
If you cannot collect documents, video footage, records or other evidence needed to support your car accident claim on your own, have an attorney gather evidence for you while you focus on healing. An attorney can take immediate actions to preserve critical documents, such as filing a spoliation letter to force a defendant to save any evidence that may be relevant to your case.
What to Do Once You Have Collected These Documents
Once you are ready to proceed with a car accident claim in Louisville, contact an attorney who can help you with the legal process. Bring all of the records and documents associated with your car accident to your free consultation with an attorney. An experienced car accident lawyer can help you present your documents and evidence to an insurance company, judge or jury in a way that will optimize your odds of a positive result.