What Records to Gather After a Car Accident

November 18, 2020

As the injured party or plaintiff during a car accident claim in Arizona, the burden of proof will rest with you. It will be your responsibility to prove the other party’s liability for your injuries and losses. Meeting this burden of proof requires fulfilling the evidentiary standard: enough evidence to prove the defendant more likely than not caused your accident. Gathering the right records after a car accident in Phoenix can help you build a stronger case. Talk to a Phoenix car accident lawyer for assistance with your case.

Police Report

Legally, you must report a car accident to the police in Arizona if it caused any personal injuries, fatalities or property damage in excess of $1,000. Contacting the police after a car accident can provide invaluable evidence during your claim, such as a citation against the other driver for breaking a roadway rule. If the other driver was speeding, for example, you can use the speeding ticket as evidence. The accident report can also contain important details, such as a description of how the car accident most likely happened and the names of eyewitnesses.

Medical Records

Always go to a doctor or hospital immediately after a car accident. This is critical not only for your physical health but also for your insurance claim. An insurance company wants to see that you did not delay in seeking medical care. Obtain copies of all relevant medical records and documents, including test results, x-rays and imaging scans, official diagnoses, treatment plans, and prescriptions. You can submit these to the insurance company as proof of your car accident injuries. Gather all related medical bills as proof of your health care expenses as well.

Eyewitness Statements

While the accident is still fresh in their minds, ask eyewitnesses at the scene of the car accident for descriptions of what they saw. If you are not badly injured, you may be able to take this step yourself. Otherwise, you can entrust this task to the police officer at the scene of your crash. Collecting eyewitness statements can provide important evidence as to how the car accident occurred and who may be to blame.


If possible, take photographs yourself or have a trusted friend take photographs of the accident scene for you. You or your lawyer can also seek surveillance video footage from nearby businesses. Pictures and videos can provide important proof, such as food wrappers in the other driver’s seat as proof of distracted driving. Photographs of vehicle damage can also help crash reconstructionists piece together how the collision happened.

Pay Stubs and Your Work Schedule

Gather several of your most recent pay stubs as proof of your income prior to your car accident. Also, obtain a copy of your typical work schedule pre-crash to show an insurance company how many days you most likely would have worked had you not been injured in the accident. Documents related to your income can help you prove lost wages and lost future capacity to earn during a car accident case.

Vehicle Repair Estimates

The mechanic that evaluates your car after an accident should give you a written report of everything wrong with it, as well as price estimates for repairs. Make a copy of this document to submit to the insurance company. If the auto shop thinks your vehicle is a total loss – damaged past the point of repair – make a copy of this statement and obtain an appraisal for the pre-accident value of your car.

Insurance Policy

Print out a copy of your insurance policy and that of the at-fault driver. You may also benefit from obtaining copies of your health insurance policy, or your Medicare or Medicaid card. Insurance information can help you or your lawyer understand the type and amount of coverage available. Contact a lawyer for assistance gathering the correct records after a car accident in Phoenix.