LONDON – LEGAL – When you are involved in a car accident, there are specific laws in place that help determine who is responsible and liable to pay for any injuries or damages sustained by both or either party. It’s a good idea to contact an auto accident attorney even if the accident is a minor fender bender, especially if you are injured. Someone experienced in automobile law will be able to get you the compensation that you are entitled to and make sure that you receive a fair settlement for your damages and injuries.
To prove your case in a court of law, you must have the proper documentation, which your attorney will need to collect from you. Once you retain a lawyer, they will need to file documents, but you will be responsible for supplying them with documentation related to the accident, your injuries, any damages you sustained, and further medical treatment that you receive. Bringing the proper documentation to your initial meeting will not only save you time; it will also expedite the process of filing your claim so that you can reach a settlement and get the money you are entitled to.
The types of documents you will need to acquire and bring are:
A copy of your insurance policy
If you have automobile insurance — which is mandatory to drive in the US — your lawyer will need a copy of the policy to see what your exact coverage and limitations are. If you don’t have a copy of your current policy, make sure that you have your policy number so that your attorney can get a copy for you. You will need to give your attorney approval to gain access to your insurance information.
Evidence that you have paid your premium
You will need to supply evidence not just that you have insurance, but that you have paid your premiums on time and that your policy is up-to-date. If possible, bring a canceled check to prove that you made payment, or print out a bank statement online to show that you paid in full and were covered at the time of the accident.
Any information that you have from the accident scene
When you were in the accident, you should have exchanged information with the other driver or drivers. You will want to bring that information with you, like the driver’s name, address, driver’s license number and their insurance information, if you were able to get it.
Any police reports that were filed at the scene
If you were in an accident, a police report should have been filled out. The police report is not admissible in a court of law, but it can help your Toronto criminal attorney during the negotiation phase of your lawsuit. The police report will be on file at the station closest to the accident site, and you can pick a copy up. Sometimes the accident report is available online. If you can’t find the report, your attorney should be able to get a copy of it for you.
Any tickets that were issued at the accident
If you were given a ticket because of the accident, you will want to bring a copy of it with you to the lawyer. People can be ticketed for things like “failure to stop at a stop sign.” Your attorney will need a copy of the ticket because it is a precursor to establishing “negligence” or fault.
If you are injured in the accident, you will want to bring any medical bills for treatment that you received. You will also want to bring any diagnosis or evaluations made. If you don’t have a copy, your lawyer can obtain one if you fill out an authorization form.
Statements and photographs
If you were able to get photographs or eyewitness statements about the events surrounding the accident, bring those with you. They will help your lawyer build a case on your behalf.
Paystubs or records
If you have missed work due to your injuries, you will want to bring proof of loss of wages. To do that you can bring in prior paystubs to prove what you would have been paid if you hadn’t been injured.
Hiring an attorney is an excellent idea if you are in a car accident, especially if there is any question about who is at fault or if you were injured. If you bring the proper documentation that your lawyer will need with you at your meeting, the attorney can get the ball rolling much quicker and get you the compensation you are entitled to in a more timely manner.