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Car Accident Checklist

There is no doubt that being in a car accident is a frightening experience. When you were also injured in the accident it can be difficult to remain focused on all the things that need to be done.

According to a report by the New Jersey State Police, there were 406 fatal auto accidents in New Jersey from January to the end of September 2012, and 586 fatal accidents in 2011.

If you are seriously injured in a car accident you may be occupied with doctor appointments, car repairs and lost time from work. However, when your injuries were caused by another, your case against a negligent driver can be made stronger by the information and documents you are able to organize from the start.

The following is a checklist of the items you can prepare to help your attorney present your case:

  • Police report: The police accident report is essential to determine whose is at fault for the accident. It also often contains important insurance and witness information.
  • Photographs: If possible, take photographs showing the damage to the vehicles, the condition of the roadway and any visible injuries such as lacerations and bruises at the scene. If you are unable, most people have cell phones and can help you.
  • Witness information: Get contact information of witnesses to the accident. It can also helpful to get contact information from first responders such as ambulance personnel.
  • Out of pocket expenses: Keep receipts for expenses relating to the accident including towing, ambulance charges, transportation to doctor appointments, prescription drugs, and housekeeping services. All medical bills must also be kept.
  • Work records: Keep a file with documents related to your employment following the accident including disability notes, insurance payments for lost earnings and work restrictions.
  • Recreational diary: Many accident cases take years before they are resolved. In that time you may have difficulty remembering all the ways in which the accident disrupted your life. Keep a weekly diary of the activities you are unable or limited in doing. For example, if you had to stop driving car pool or no longer play in your weekend pick-up basketball game. All such details are valuable.

As experienced car accident attorneys we know there is no substitute for a prepared and organized client.

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