The Necessity of Immediate Documentation after a Car Accident

This guest post gives credit to Molly Pearce.


When you have been injured in an auto accident, the best way to prove your claims is to have written documents describing the crash and the injuries you sustained.

Photo credit:

Photo credit:

Documents signed by physicians, police officers, and witnesses to the crash help to bolster your claims to insurance companies about your injuries. Your goal is to be fairly compensated for your injuries. However, not all insurance companies will fairly reimburse you for your medical bills and other expenses related to your accident.

Before you accept any payments from an insurance company, consult with a personal injury attorney who will make sure that you receive the compensation that you are entitled to by law.

As stated by one Virginia law firm, “personal injury law grants injured victims the right to pursue compensation for their losses, damages, and suffering caused by someone else’s negligence.” An experienced personal injury attorney knows how to use the official documentation related to the crash to negotiate a fair settlement or use it as the basis of a personal injury lawsuit in court.

Police reports

The most requested documents for facts on automobile accidents are police reports. A police officer notes all aspects of the accident scene, including:

1. The number of vehicles involved

2. Names of drivers and witnesses

3. Weather and road conditions

4. Vehicle damages

5. Types of injuries sustained

In addition to the basic facts, police officers write narratives about the crash based on their interview with everyone involved in the crash (victims, defendants, witnesses, etc).

When someone sustains an injury, the police report notes whether the injured individuals refused medical treatment or whether they were taken to the hospital for treatment.

Medical reports

Medical records from the hospital or clinic visit immediately following a crash are another form of documentation that can play an important role in personal injury claims. Drivers and passengers with severe injuries who are taken to the hospital will have reports signed by doctors, noting the person’s complaints, what medical treatment was provided, and what drugs were prescribed, if any, and whether immediate hospitalization was ordered.

Those who appear to have escaped any injury may not want to seek medical treatment because of the inconvenience and the time it will take to go to an emergency room. But just because people can walk away from an accident does not mean that they have not sustained internal injuries or a traumatic brain injury, of which, a concussion is the most common.

Mobile phone photos

While photos are not official documentation, they are the next best thing to describe damages that were done to vehicles in accidents. Describing the photos in writing can at least serve as an unofficial document of an accident.

Using mobile phone photos might work for drivers involved in hit-and-runs on city side streets and highways who want to file an insurance claim and need some type of proof that an accident occurred. A driver or passenger can pull out their mobile phone and take a photo of the car that hit them or the license plate number, before that driver pulls off.

In cities where police resources are stretched too thin, drivers who want documentation may have to go to a local police station to report the hit-and-run.

A personal injury attorney can advise you on how to obtain as much information as possible about your injury. The more official documents you have, the stronger a case your attorney can present on your behalf.

As a busy city motorist, author, mother, and artist Molly Pearce shares this info to fellow drivers who may not know what difference documentation can make in the event of an accident. Through past experiences, she has found that maintaining all accident-related docs and acquiring solid legal representation is a recipe for successfully obtaining positive legal results. The personal injury attorneys Price Benowitz, LLP, provide legal counsel and help victims maintain proper documentation to support their injury claims.


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