What Evidence Do I Need to Gather After a Car Accident in Kansas City to Support My Personal Injury Claim?
If you’ve been injured in a car accident, truck accident, slip and fall, a workplace injury due to negligence, or any other kind of personal injury, you must build a solid case with evidence to support your claim. Likewise, if you are acting on behalf of a loved one or family member who suffered a wrongful death due to an accident, you have to bring a strong case forward to seek compensation.
A personal injury lawyer can help you construct a winning case and get a settlement offer. Consider what you should bring to your consultation to start your case.
A Personal Injury Lawyer Explains the Evidence to Bring After an Accident in Kansas City
After a personal injury takes place, you will need to bring pertinent information regarding the accident in Kansas City to a lawyer. Your lawyer can evaluate the situation and give you recommendations for how to proceed. The more evidence you have, the more likely you are to receive compensation for your claim.
Bring as many of these items as you can. After your first meeting with an attorney, they may ask you to get more documents. They can also use subpoena power to force others to provide information about your injury. Ask for a free consultation so that your documents can be examined on their own merits.
Statements From Your Insurance Company
The insurance company is a major player in any lawsuit. Both your insurance company and that of the other driver, in the case of a car accident, provide liability coverage which can be used to recover compensation for your injuries. If a car crash occurred on your property, your homeowner’s insurance company could also be involved. Plus, your health insurance company factors into the equation when you have received medical treatment for your injuries.
Bring any statements from any insurance providers involved in the accident. Bring copies of your own insurance policies so that your lawyer can examine the extent of your liability coverage. You may be able to simply push your insurance company to provide more compensation and avoid a lawsuit with other parties. If your insurance doesn’t provide enough coverage, a lawsuit can force others’ insurers to cover you.
One of the prerequisites for a personal injury lawsuit is that you must have experienced financial losses due to an accident. Given the high cost of medical treatment in the United States, medical bills often make up the bulk of your financial losses. Bring any records of medical expenses. Ask the hospital that treated you to provide an itemized list of services and items used for your medical attention.
In addition, consider bringing your medical records to show that your treatment was not the result of some previous condition. In a lawsuit, one party often looks to discredit the other party. You may have injuries after a car crash, for example, and preexisting conditions. The other party may try to argue that your injuries are not new and therefore should not be covered. Your medical records can prove otherwise.
Receipts for Property Damage
If an accident resulted in property damage, you should also bring quotes or receipts for repairs or reconstruction. In a car accident case, you would want to bring any estimates for vehicle repairs or, if the car is deemed a total loss by insurance adjusters, proof of the car’s current value. You can include any other property that was damaged during a crash. If you were transporting fragile items or an expensive laptop broke, add that to your claim.
The same rules apply to other kinds of property damage. For example, if your home suffered damage due to negligence from a nearby contractor, you can seek compensation in court. If a car were to crash into your home, you can, of course, sue for damages to your home, even if you weren’t a driver involved in the accident. If you have already spent money on repairs or made insurance payments, bring those receipts.
The Accident Report
One of the most important aspects of a lawsuit is proving that someone else was at fault for your injuries. The official accident report from a Kansas City police officer or first responder will weigh heavily on your claim. When officers arrive at the scene of a car accident or any other kind of unfortunate event, they look to gather evidence and talk to bystanders to see what happened. They then compile a full report.
You have the right to request this police report in full. If you are unsure how to get it, your attorney can request it for you. It’s important to review this report carefully. If it contains errors, then you will need to get as much evidence as possible to prove your version of events. Remember, a police report only looks at the immediate aftermath of an accident; only you can clarify the events leading up to the accident.
Images of Injuries and the Accident Scene
After a car wreck or other kind of accident, you should try to document the scene as much as possible. Of course, if you have injuries, you should seek medical treatment first and ensure your own safety. If other passengers are with you and they are physically okay, ask them to take pictures of the damage. If you are alone, ask a person nearby if possible. These images can become valuable evidence in your case.
You should also take pictures of your own physical injuries. Since many months can pass between the time you suffer an injury and filing a lawsuit, the severity of your injury could be hard to appreciate after you’ve recovered. If your case goes to trial, a jury can be persuaded by the images of your injuries when they occurred. This evidence is also helpful when you seek compensation for pain and suffering.
Dashcam or Cell Phone Footage
When it comes to car accidents, it can be very difficult to provide evidence of the moments before the car accident or the actions of the other driver involved. Dashcam footage can strongly support your legal claim. When you have footage of the moments before the accident, you can easily prove your innocence or the fault of another driver. This footage is admissible in a Kansas City court, so be sure to save it.
Likewise, cell phone videos taken by others could serve as evidence for your legal action. If a passenger in your car was recording before the accident, their footage could prove vital. Similarly, a bystander may have taken a video nearby that shows the actions of the other vehicles involved. If anyone offers to send you footage, get their information and ask them for the video.
Proof of Other Economic Damages
When you are injured through no fault of your own, you have the right to pursue compensation for more than just your medical bills or property damage. You can also demand that your lost income is covered. For example, if you are paid hourly and were unable to work for several days while recovering from your injury, you can add up the hours you would have worked and add that amount to your claim.
Insurance claims rarely pay for lost wages. The claims process only focuses on the property that was insured and the direct impact of the car accident or other incident. A fair settlement includes money you would have made had you not been injured. However, to get this lost money back, you will need the help of a Kansas City car accident lawyer. Bring pay stubs or a work contract to support this claim.
Nearby witnesses can provide evidence that you were not at fault for the accident. After a collision, people who witnessed the scene may be asked to give their version of events to a police officer for the official police report. A witness may notice things that you did not. For instance, they might have seen that the other driver went through a stop sign or traffic signals, putting them clearly at fault.
Whenever possible, try to exchange information with witnesses. Police do not always take witness testimony correctly for their report when gathering evidence. A case based solely on the drivers’ testimonies is hard to resolve. Witnesses simplify the matter.
Cell Phone Records
Your phone records can also support your case. Another attorney may argue that you were at fault for using your phone while driving. Phone records can prove that you were not texting or calling anyone. Your valid phone number can also help your attorney request the recording of your 911 call. A 911 call is often the first call people make, and it can contain important details that are easily forgotten later.
When Should I Contact a Kansas City Car Accident Lawyer After an Accident?
After a car accident, your first priority is to seek medical attention and ensure your safety and that of others in your vehicle. However, you shouldn’t wait too long before filing a lawsuit. Your legal rights do expire after a set period of time, and gathering evidence becomes more difficult as time passes.
The Statute of Limitations on Personal Injury Cases
In Missouri, all personal injury lawsuits are subject to the statute of limitations. Don’t wait until the last minute. Contact a law firm immediately after a car accident.
Evidence Fades Fast
A car accident happens quickly. After a collision, there is a great deal of evidence to collect. However, in just a few months, videos may be deleted, quotes for repair can be lost, and your injuries may be fully recovered. It’s always easier to document a case when you act quickly.
If you’ve suffered damages from a collision or other accident, look for a law firm that offers a free consultation with a great track record of past results. Contact Wendt Law Firm P.C. today at 816-542-6734 for a free case evaluation and start your road to financial recovery.