A lawyer for a car accident claim needs to properly document medical care and prove pain and suffering to justify a fair award. The sooner the victim begins collecting the documents, the better. Documentation for accidents falls into three categories:
Proof of Accident
The first step is to show how the accident happened, and who is at fault. A lawyer for a car accident typically wants:
- Police reports—These show the officer’s initial estimation of the accident and the immediate assumptions about the cause of the wreck
- Witness statements—Eye witness testimony plays a critical role in car accident trials. Witnesses fill in the evidence police officers may have missed
- Photos—Pictures of the victim’s injuries show the initial impact of the accident
The second set of documents includes any piece of evidence created by medical professionals.
- Medical records—Victims need a list of all doctors he or she visited and the expert assessment of the victim’s condition from each doctor. If the victim used more than one doctor for an opinion, the medical records should be arranged by a doctor, in chronological order.
- Bills—Economic damages, the first stage in injury awards, covers the cost of medical treatment and related expenses. Documenting the full cost of treatment is essential in securing fair compensation for current and future expenses. Victims need an accounting of all doctor’s visits, medical tests, medical devices, and medications.
The final stage, one that often gets too little attention, is documenting how the accident impacted the victim’s everyday life. The state of Illinois allows for both economic and non-economic damages in car accident claims, which allows victims to receive compensation for everything from pain and suffering to inconvenience.
- Loss of income estimates—Pay stubs and statements from employers about lost wages and other income opportunities gives the court a foundation from which to estimate the total loss of income.
- Documentation of missed enjoyment—A lawyer for a car accident can seek compensation for victims who missed life experiences as a result of a car wreck. For example, a victim who had to miss a graduation ceremony because of hospitalization from the injury or forced withdrawal from a company softball league due to a broken arm are potentially eligible for compensation.
Victims who seek a lawyer for a car accident case can strengthen their claims and quicken the settlement process with proper documentation.