The Importance of Preserving Evidence in Vehicle Accident Cases
October 30, 2020
The aftermath of a vehicle accident, particularly one involving commercial vehicles, can be tremendously confusing and scary. First and foremost, the most important thing for any person to do after a vehicle accident is to secure medical assistance for any injuries. However, it is also crucial that those involved in an accident begin to think about gathering as much evidence as possible so it can be preserved.
Gathering Evidence Immediately After a Crash Occurs
In the aftermath of a commercial vehicle accident, there is going to be a certain amount of evidence present at the scene that will disappear very quickly as the moments go by. After a car accident scene is cleaned up by authorities, and after witnesses leave, it can be very difficult to regather the last of the evidence. Some steps that any accident victims should take, if it is safe to do so, include the following:
- Use a phone or another type of camera to take photographs of everything at the scene. This includes damages to the vehicles, causes of the crash, injuries, weather conditions, traffic conditions, and more. Photographs should be taken at various angles and distances to give a complete picture of what happened.
- The names and contact information of all eyewitnesses to the crash as well as other drivers and passengers need to be gathered. For incidents involving commercial vehicles, the name of the company the vehicle belongs to also needs to be written down.
- It is important to get the driver’s license number, insurance information, and license plate number of any vehicle involved in the crash.
Get as much evidence as possible at the scene of the crash. Remember, there will be no way to adequately recreate much of this evidence after the scene has been cleaned up. Additionally, witnesses at the scene will never be heard from again if you do not get their names and contact information.
Contacting the Police
The police need to be contacted after nearly every accident that occurs, particularly those involving commercial vehicles. Law enforcement officials will conduct a preliminary investigation into the incident, and they will also gather their own evidence and contact information that could be invaluable for your insurance claim or a personal injury lawsuit. Be sure to ask the responding police officer the correct process for obtaining an official copy of the accident report after it has been completed.
Write Down Everything You Remember
As soon as you are able to do so, you should get a notebook and write down everything you remember about the accident. In the same notebook, keep a daily entry about how you feel. This includes any pain and suffering you endure as well as the dates of any hospital or doctor visits. A journal of this nature can preserve your memories and is generally admissible in court.
Continue Going to Your Medical Appointments
After you receive your initial medical care following a commercial vehicle accident, you must continue all follow-up care until the doctor says you have reached maximum medical improvement. Do not discontinue care, as this could be used as evidence that you are not as injured as you claimed to be. All of your medical records related to the commercial vehicle crash can be used as evidence in your insurance claim or personal injury lawsuit.
Contact a Personal Injury Attorney
If you or a loved one are involved in an accident with a commercial vehicle, you need to speak to an attorney as soon as possible. Commercial vehicle drivers and the companies they work or contract for will likely have the resources and legal teams necessary to dispute any claim you make. Let an injury attorney get to work on your case so they can use their resources to obtain and preserve any evidence needed to prove liability and help you secure the compensation you need.