What is Considered Essential Evidence in Car Accident Cases?
October 5, 2020
The last thing anybody wants is to be involved in a car accident. Unfortunately, these incidents are not uncommon in and around our area. The immediate aftermath of a crash can be incredibly confusing, as can the period in the days and weeks that follow the incident. However, there are various steps that you can take in order to gather and preserve evidence that will help your insurance claim or any personal injury lawsuit that needs to be filed after the accident.
Gathering Evidence at the Scene of the Crash
The most immediate and important thing that you need to do after being involved in an accident is to assess yourself and others for injuries. You must seek emergency assistance for any injuries you have sustained. If it is safe to do so at the scene of an accident, you can also begin to gather various types of evidence that could be useful for an insurance claim or during a lawsuit. This includes the following:
- Using a cell phone or other type of camera to take photographs of everything at the scene. This includes damage to the vehicles, possible causes of the crash, traffic patterns, weather conditions, injuries, and more. Be sure to take photographs from various angles and distances so that there is a clear understanding of what happened.
- Looking for any nearby surveillance cameras. Take note of any surveillance cameras that may have caught the car accident on film. While you may or may not be able to obtain this footage on your own, a skilled car accident lawyer may be able to gain access to this footage.
- The names and contact information of all parties involved and any eyewitnesses need to be gathered. This includes other drivers and passengers involved directly in the crash as well as bystanders who may have seen what happened.
- Any reports by law enforcement need to be gathered. It is crucial that the police come to the scene of nearly every crash that occurs so they can conduct a preliminary investigation. Police reports are typically used by insurance carriers to determine fault and make compensation determinations.
Keeping Track of Medical Visits and Pain and Suffering
Aside from the initial evidence gathered at the scene of the accident, you must keep track of all of your expenses resulting from the accident. This includes any medical bills as well as general out-of-pocket costs. This also includes keeping track of any income you lose if you cannot work while you are recovering.
Additionally, it is strongly recommended that you keep a journal that details your daily level of physical and psychological pain and suffering. Journals of this nature are typically admissible in court, and they can be a good way to refresh your memory about the details of the incident.
Working With an Accident Attorney
It is crucial to work with a skilled lawyer in the aftermath of sustaining a personal injury. Most personal injury victims do not have the resources or experience necessary to thoroughly investigate the case or stand up to aggressive insurance carriers. However, an attorney can use their resources to gather and preserve any evidence that can help prove what happened. An attorney will also be able to fully prepare your case for whatever path is necessary to secure the compensation you need, whether that be an insurance claim or your personal injury lawsuit.