5 Things to Document After a Car Accident

Mother and daughter asking their lawyer about what they should document after a car accident.

Car accidents are no fun. They often leave us shaken, left to deal with the physical, emotional, and financial damage they cause. But while you may feel confused with no idea as to how you should proceed, it is still very important that you remember to document several things in order to preserve the information, which can serve to help you best recover for your damages and injuries. Here are five things you should document after being in a car accident.

What Should You Document After a Car Accident?

1. Police Report

Police officers who come to the scene of the accident usually prepare a report, commonly called an accident or incident report. They do so in order to describe what has occurred. This report is important because it can assist with proving the circumstances regarding the accident when it comes time to file an insurance claim or a personal injury lawsuit. 

2. Medical Records

When you have been in an accident it can wreak a lot of damage to your body. The expenses of having to care for these injuries can be astronomical. That’s why it’s so important to save a copy of every record related to your treatment such as diagnoses, treatment recommendations, prescribed medications, opinions and conclusions from any healthcare providers you’ve seen, and billing information. Larger medical facilities often require that you contact their billing department in order to get the copies you may not have been given. 

3. Records Proving Income

When you have been injured, it can cause subsequent issues, such as missed time at work and lost income. In order to demonstrate this, you should keep all paycheck stubs, tip records, direct deposit records, and anything else that is related to lost income due to the accident. 

4. Vehicle Damage Estimates and Proof of Value

Even if you are lucky enough to walk away from an accident without any physical injuries to your person, your vehicle still often incurs a lot of damage. You understandably don’t want to pay for the damage that someone else caused. That’s why it’s a good idea to know the cash value of the vehicle prior to the accident and also the cost of the repairs. Sometimes, depending upon your insurance policy, it may be the responsibility of the company to estimate your damages.

5. Written Self-Account/Journal 

Memory naturally fades over time. That’s why it is such a good idea to write down the specifics of what has occurred while it is fresh in your mind. This includes information such as:

  • The direction each car was headed
  • Each car’s speed
  • Road and weather conditions. 
  • Any distractions
  • What was said and done after the accident
  • Witnesses
  • Other drivers’ names and car insurance
  • What injuries you’ve incurred
  • How those injuries are impacting your daily life

Pictures are also helpful in maintaining the accuracy of the incident. These pictures may include:

  • Each corner of all vehicles involved
  • The locations of all vehicles involved
  • The license plates of all vehicles involved
  • Any interior damage to any vehicle involved
  • Any markings or debris created by the accident

MPJ Law Firm Can Help Those Who Have Been Injured in a Car Accident

If you or a loved one has been injured in a car accident, it can feel overwhelming. But you shouldn’t have to pay the price for someone else’s mistakes. At MPJ Law Firm, we have a deep understanding of car accidents and a long history of dealing with insurance companies. We will always act in your best interest. To learn more or to schedule a free consultation, contact us today!

Posted in: Automobile Accidents