What to Document After a Motor Vehicle Collision
Even small vehicular crashes are unsettling, troublesome, and, at times, chaotic. In the midst of making sure everyone is okay, calling the police, and changing your schedule to accommodate for time spent on the side of the road, it can be hard to track what is important for any personal injury case to come. At Wells & Wells, we are here to answer any personal injury questions you may have. In the meantime, here are some tips for how to approach documenting a vehicular crash.
Tending to Your Injuries
Even if you are not driven away from the wreck by an ambulance, you should still tend to any injuries you may have sustained from being involved in a vehicle crash. In particular, whiplash and back pain can take days or even a week or more to manifest and often are not fully realized by crash victims until it is too late to prove. Seek out medical help from your doctor at once to not only prove the existence of your injuries, but to receive the proper care so that your pain does not become chronic and life-lasting.
Examine Damage to the Vehicle as Soon as Possible
Other than injuries sustained in a crash, damage to either vehicle is the most visible loss. According to Arkansas statute 27-53-401, a vehicle’s value is measured by, “The difference between the value of the vehicle immediately before the damage occurred and the value after the damage occurred, plus a reasonable amount of damages for loss of use of the vehicle.” If it is an older car, it is worth less before the crash even occurred, so payments made for damages caused will be less. However, if significant upgrades have been made to the car, such as a new rear bike rack, those should also be taken into consideration.
Lost Personal Items Within the Car Count Too
Shortly after the accident, and before you start removing items from the car, assess the status of each possession. Many people travel with their laptops or work equipment. If those items have been damaged then you should document this with photos and try to find any receipts to indicate what you paid for them.
Lost Income or Additional Expenses
If you were significantly injured in the crash you may not be able to work and that lost income should be accounted for in your personal injury claim. On a slightly different note, if you lost your primary means of transportation and now have to take a taxi home from the crash and take the bus to work, you will need to track those expenses and save receipts.
Reporting the Crash to Your Insurance Company
If the accident you were in was enough to cause over $1,000 worth of damages to one individual, it must also be reported to the Arkansas DMV within 30 days, even if you are not the party at fault. You will also need to contact your insurance company as soon as possible post-crash.
Call a Lawyer Now
If you were injured in an auto wreck, do not hesitate to contact the Wells & Wells attorneys at 870.782.4084 today. Our Jonesboro attorneys will assist you throughout each step of your case.