The moments after your car accident are extremely important. This is the critical time when the accident scene still appears almost exactly as it happened. Now’s your chance to preserve it with photos and videos.
As every minute passes, things change. Witnesses wander away. The sun goes down. Cars are towed off. If you can capture evidence before any of this happens, that’s ideal. (But even if you can’t, you still have options. Read on to learn why!)
Of course, your top priority should always be to seek medical assistance for yourself and anybody who has been injured. Any accident with injuries and above-minimal property damage should be reported to the police.
As soon as you can safely gather evidence, do so. If you decide to file an insurance claim or personal injury lawsuit, you’ll be glad you took fast action.
Here’s the Best Way to Gather Evidence
Use your smartphone to take photos and videos of the accident scene, including where the accident happened, the street signs, the cross-streets, stop lights, and anything else that could possibly be relevant. Traffic conditions and weather conditions are particularly helpful to see on video later.
Make sure you capture the damages to the vehicles involved because the other person may have their vehicle repaired fairly quickly. If there are any broken pieces of the vehicles laying nearby, make sure your photographs capture them to show the extent of the damage.
Stay out of the way of medical personnel and police officers and allow them to do their jobs. Request the other driver’s name, address, driver’s license number, license plate number, and insurance information. If there are witnesses, gather their names and phone numbers.
Couldn’t Get Evidence From the Scene? Don’t Sweat it!
Sometimes it’s impossible to gather evidence from the scene of the accident yourself because you are too injured to do so. You might be quickly taken away in an ambulance or helicopter so emergency medical personnel can assist you.
If this happens, don’t lose hope. At Sally Morin Personal Injury Lawyers, we’re experts at locating evidence even when it doesn’t come directly from the injured person.
Maybe nearby businesses had video cameras rolling. Perhaps we can request photos or footage from the California Division of Traffic Operations or the California Highway Patrol. In some cases, we’ve even found valuable evidence from Uber and Lyft drivers who use in-car cameras while driving their passengers.
We can help you locate witnesses, arrange testimony from traffic safety experts, make public records requests, and much more. Because our world is so interconnected and tech-enhanced, there’s almost always a way to find additional evidence from the scene of an accident.
Paperwork and Emails are Evidence, Too
Remember, evidence doesn’t just come directly from the scene of your accident. It will also arise in the following days and weeks. Keep anything you receive from an insurance company, tow truck company, repair shop, car rental company, hospital, medical provider, or your employer.
Request a copy of the police report, which may take some persistence to obtain from the police department. Avoid getting into any long, drawn-out discussions about the accident and don’t post about it on social media. Speak to an attorney before sharing your story.
Now think back to what occurred in the weeks leading up to the accident. Have you made any recent vehicle repairs or upgrades? Did you purchase the car recently? Locate all paperwork that could show the value of your vehicle loss.
As your medical bills roll in, save everything whether insurance is covering your bills or not. Hospital bills, prescriptions, physical therapy recommendations, and doctor’s treatment notes show that you have suffered greatly and prove the value of your case.
If you couldn’t work as a result of the accident, request documentation from your employer. Previous and current pay stubs can also help show the wages you lost.
During a Claim or Lawsuit, Your Evidence Speaks Volumes
Most car accident claims never go as far as an in-court appearance. It’s unlikely that you’ll ever tell a judge or jury what happened.
Instead, your evidence will speak loud and clear on your behalf as you negotiate an insurance claim or personal injury settlement. With the help of your car accident lawyer, you’ll show how the other driver was negligent. Through photos, videos, bills, and other evidence, you’ll build a strong case that’s difficult for the other side to deny.
Were you severely injured in a car accident? If you have questions about preserving evidence and getting your bills paid, contact the team at Sally Morin Personal Injury Lawyers. We’re ready to start digging up lots of evidence that backs up your claim.
We Handle Your Accident Claim So You Can Focus on Your Life
After an accident, contact the attorneys at Sally Morin Personal Injury Lawyers. We handle many types of traffic injury claims. We believe you should be able to focus on recovering from your accident while we handle the legal details.
We truly care about the people of California. Contact us today for a free online case evaluation.