Another very important thing to do after a car accident is keeping records related to your crash and the losses it’s caused you. This recordkeeping can preserve the value of your claim because it can detail the extent of the financial impacts you have suffered due to the wreck.
Some of the specific issues or elements that should be included in your recordkeeping are the following:
- Accident-scene photos and report(s) – These can include the pictures you took after the crash, as well as photos included with the police report and/or insurance claim. In terms of reports, keep your copy of the police report, as well as any investigation/claims reports (or correspondence) from insurance companies.
- Lost wages – Document the earnings you have lost as a result of the crash by keeping pay stubs and bank statements. If the accident caused you to lose your job (because of missing too much time from work), be sure to also keep any correspondence, reports or memos that your employer sent you regarding your job loss.
- Medical care and the related bills – This can include any medical reports, bills, treatment guidelines, and/or diagnostic test results you receive as you get your crash-related injuries treated. These documents can be supplemented by your own notes (like a journal in which you detail your physical and/or psychological limitations resulting from the crash).
- Other bills – This can include anything from property damage/repair bills (for your vehicle, for instance) to bills for prescription medications, rental cars, etc. If you’re spending money to cover some loss that was caused by the accident, keep the receipt.
When it comes to recordkeeping in the aftermath of an auto accident, here are a few helpful tips to remember:
- When in doubt, keep something – You can always throw stuff out later if it’s not needed (but tracking something down months or years after the fact can be much more difficult – and costly). So, just keep everything related to your crash (even if you don’t think it’s necessary or essential).
- Keep all of the records in one, easily accessible place – Get a folder or binder where you can keep all of your accident-related bills, reports and other documents. This can help you avoid losing anything (while making it easier for you to quickly access any crash-related document in the future).
- Create a backup file or version – If possible, try to make physical and/or electronic backups of each document (i.e., copy and/or scan each document). This can be invaluable if any document gets misplaced or damaged in the future.
Call Chappell, Smith & Arden at (803) 929-3600 or contact us online to start getting helpful answers about your options – and to discover what you can do as you move forward to protect your rights and claim.