Injury lawyers like to take strong cases that they're sure they can win for their clients. If you've been in a car accident, the more evidence you have, the stronger your case will be and the easier it will be for your accident attorney to help you.
While we hope you haven't been in a car crash, Accident.com is here to help if you have. When navigating your injury claims, it's important to know what information a lawyer needs to get you the most compensation.
What You and Your Car Accident Attorney Need to Prove
To win a car accident case, you and your lawyer need to prove that the other driver was negligent. “Negligence” is the failure to use ordinary or reasonable care. You also have to prove that their negligence harmed you and in what way. More specifically, your lawyer needs to prove the following:
- Duty: The other person must have owed you legal duty. A state’s basic traffic laws usually define what duty covers. Duty may include the laws to follow road signs and signal all turns.
- Breach: The other person breached their duty. In other words, the other person didn't do what they were supposed to do. If the other person broke a driving law, that person was negligent. You may still be able to recover for someone else’s negligence even if your actions also contributed to the crash. However, state laws vary. Accident.com will connect you with a car accident attorney near you who's familiar with the relevant laws.
- Damages: You were injured in some way (physical injury, car damage, lost wages, etc.).
- Causation: The other person’s negligence caused your injury, and you wouldn't have been injured without their actions.
A personal injury lawyer will weigh the likelihood of winning a case with the amount of money they could recover for you. You pay these lawyers a "contingency fee." This fee means the lawyer gets a pre-set percentage of the recovery amount.
So, a lawyer might accept a case that has questionable “negligence” if the damages are significant. Many lawyers also accept cases that have clear negligence with small damages. This is the same type of analysis you may make in deciding whether it's "worth it" for you to go through the hassle of a claim.
A personal injury lawyer knows the risks and rewards, and they will help you make the best decision for you. Here are just a few tasks that an accident attorney can help with:
- Investigating accidents so all of the right information is considered.
- Helping you understand the legal lingo.
- Protecting your rights.
- Ensuring you get fair compensation.
Because each case is unique, reach out to Accident.com to find a lawyer who can help with your specific situation.
The Information a Lawyer Needs
To prove negligence, a car accident lawyer needs a few documents. Here's some information a lawyer needs to help them determine if they should take your car crash case.
Doctors and Medical Treatment
The person filing a personal injury claim must prove they were injured in the crash. This task starts with your medical records. It's important to get medical treatment right away for your injuries. It's also important to follow your doctor's instructions. If your doctor refers you to a specialist, go see the specialist. If your doctor says you should follow up with her in two weeks, schedule a follow-up appointment before you leave her office! Such actions are critical not only for your health and well being but also for you to successfully recover for your injuries.
Also, remember to check in with your doctor even if you feel okay. You may have hidden problems that can affect your health and your case. Make sure your doctor knows the full extent of your injuries as well. Detailed and complete medical records help prove the truth of your injury. Plus, if you wait too long to see a doctor, it's easier for insurance and juries to believe the injury is unrelated to the accident, making it more difficult for you to get the compensation you deserve.
Your doctor will create written records about your injury, the treatment and its cause. These records are crucial in proving that you were injured in the car accident and what those injuries were.
If the claim turns into a lawsuit, your doctor may testify as an expert about the treatment they gave you. The doctor may also speak about the cause of the injury and any future treatment you may need.
What about underlying conditions?
If you have an underlying medical condition that the crash makes worse, it's really important to tell your doctor (and this is information a lawyer needs). Explain how the condition has changed since the crash and why you think it was because of the crash. You're still entitled to the full damages you sustained in the crash even if your pre-existing medical condition made your injury more severe than a different, healthy person would have sustained.
Accident.com can connect you with a qualified car accident attorney who knows how to use medical records to your benefit.
A police report is important information when filing an auto claim. A well-written and detailed police report will have information on the accident conditions, impact angles and the officer's judgment on who was at fault. This report helps prove whose actions caused the crash.
Without this proof of what happened, any claim you file may quickly become a game of "he said, she said" that can leave you taking care of the cost of repairs yourself. Even if you feel unharmed, it's important to call the police so they can respond and make a proper report.
Photos and Videos
Photos and videos of the accident scene give compelling visual proof that can support your case, especially if there was a lot of vehicle damage. Pictures and videos can also help clarify how the collision happened, which is important information a lawyer needs. Unlike memories, photos don't fade over time, so they can be good evidence.
Videos and photos are also objective evidence about damages, such as images of your injuries and surgeries. Ultimately, a jury may decide on the facts of your case. Photos and videos are a good way for the jury to know that you're telling the truth.
Proof That Someone Else Is At Fault
A clear violation by the other driver, such as speeding or driving under the influence, is a great advantage to your case. Sometimes a police report mentions this violation. Other times the at-fault driver admits it at the scene or their insurance company “accepts liability.” If someone else was clearly at fault, a car accident attorney has a much easier time working the case in your favor.
Don't Wait to Seek Help
Some information makes a car accident case more compelling for a lawyer to pursue. Gather the information a lawyer needs to let them more easily help you get the compensation you deserve. Accident.com is here to help you find an attorney. Don't wait any longer. There are strict time limitations on when you may file personal injury claims.