In the midst of the aftermath following a car accident, a number of concerns run through victims’ minds. In this state of disarray, preserving evidence is most likely not at the top of the list. But did you know that evidence – or a lack of it – will affect how much you are compensated after filing a personal injury claim? The best time to begin building your case is at the scene. With that in mind, here are the steps you’ll want to take when obtaining evidence.
Why It’s Important to Gather Evidence
After a car accident, each person involved tends to remember the incident differently. Your memory can make certain aspects more or less important while forgetting other relevant details. And keep in mind that you’re only recounting your own perspective, not the other party’s. How the car accident played out can differ in the eyes of an accident victim.
On the other hand, photographs, videos, and police reports are factually consistent. Rather than going off of “he said, she said,” evidence will help support your claims.
Auto accident claims without sufficient proof can be stressful for an accident victim. Therefore, you should take advantage of your current situation. Your goal is to collect as much evidence as possible. Later on, your Whittier car accident lawyer can determine which images and information will best help your case.
What Are the Best Forms of Car Accident Evidence?
Evidence is any documentation that either helps support or refute a spoken claim. In the case of a car, truck, or motorcycle collision, this can include:
- Video surveillance from nearby businesses
- Photos of the damage to your vehicle
- Photos of the damage to the other driver’s vehicle
- Testimony from eyewitnesses
- Physical items
- Documentation (such as the accident report and medical bills)
An experienced personal injury lawyer will be able to utilize such evidence to compile a strong case for you. Let our personal injury law firm help you. Our car accident attorneys have won 99% of personal injury claims and successfully recovered compensation for future medical bills. Schedule a free case review today.
What to Do at the Scene
The most important thing to do at the scene of a car accident is to stay calm. You may not be able to collect all of the following, so remember, safety is ALWAYS first. With that in mind, here are your main goals while at the scene:
- Relocate to a safe location.
- Call 911 to have a police officer come to the scene and call an ambulance if you need one.
- If it’s safe to do so, try to get a picture of the two vehicles before they’re moved.
- Take pictures and videos of damage to both vehicles, the roads, and your injuries.
- Take a picture of the driver’s license plate, license, registration, and proof of insurance.
- Ask witnesses for a statement of what they saw and their contact information.
- When the police arrive, take down each officer’s name and badge number.
- Make sure the officer creates an accident report at the scene. Find out when you can go to the police department to pick up your copy.
- Get to a hospital or Urgent Care if help is not already on the way. Read this article to find out why it’s ALWAYS important to get medical care following an accident.
Remember: you’ll only get one chance to get on-the-scene information. Keep a cool head and gather as much information as you can. It’s better to have an abundance of documentation than too little.
What to Do After You Leave the Scene
Following up is important. The most critical steps to take after you leave the location of the collision are:
- Get appropriate medical attention and follow your doctor’s treatment plan. To the best of your ability, avoid missing appointments. You have sustained severe injuries such as traumatic brain injuries or spinal cord injuries.
- Keep ALL medical care instructions, all medical bills, and any other documentation related to your health and well-being after the accident, including psychiatric trauma care if it’s needed.
- Call a Whittier car accident lawyer and set up an appointment for a consultation. What you do in these early stages can be important to your case later on. An experienced car accident lawyer will be able to assist you throughout the entire process.
- Call your witnesses. Ask follow-up questions about what they recall about the accident.
- Obtain written proof from your employer indicating how many days of work were missed due to your injuries.
- Refrain from speaking about the details to the liable party’s insurance company. Providing them with information related to the car accident may hurt your personal injury case.
- Keep a journal to document the timeline of your accident and all of the related events following. Sometimes, details of your health progress or mental state are forgotten by the time a car accident claim is filed.
Seek Legal Help
No matter what documentation you’re able to get a hold of, never try to pursue property damage or personal injury case by yourself. Even if you have a solid case with the other driver clearly at fault, pursuing compensation after a car accident is a complex process. Car accidents may involve multiple parties, and it gets even more complicated should it involve an entity. You need a professional on your side.
An experienced Whittier car accident attorney will:
- Look through your evidence to determine what will help your case
- Compassionately and professionally guide you through this difficult process
- Know how to speak to insurance companies
- Know how to file your insurance claim so you have the best chance at receiving the compensation you deserve
- Get you a better settlement (data shows that accident victims who seek legal help win three times the financial compensation than those who don’t)
By working with a personal injury lawyer, you may be able to recover maximum compensation. Auto accidents can lead to serious injuries, and you may have to deal with lost wages as well as physical therapy. You deserve so much more than the pain and suffering you may be going through. Let our personal injury lawyers help get you fair compensation.
If you’ve been involved in a serious accident, call Greenleaf Law Group today.
Speak to one of our expert car accident attorneys. Remember: you don’t pay unless we win your case for you, so there’s no risk.Contact us for your FREE consultation today