A Quick Guide to Gathering Evidence Following an Auto Accident
Whenever an individual is injured in a car accident at the hands of another, he or she may choose to proceed with a personal injury lawsuit to recover compensation, if traditional procedures don’t seem likely. However, proving fault in any legal proceeding, personal injury or otherwise, requires the preservation and presentation of evidence.
Obtaining and preserving evidence is a process that may seem overwhelming at first, but in reality it’s a gradual process that takes place from the moment of impact and continues on for days and even weeks following the crash. The most important thing for potential claimants to keep in mind is the importance of retaining a proven motor vehicle accident attorney, such as those from Van Law Firm, so that you can ensure pertinent evidence is preserved, such as any video footage or police reports. Not to mention, claimants who hire an attorney will recoup over 3 times what they would on their own, on average.
Gathering Evidence Immediately Following the Incident
First and foremost, all claimants should know that receiving medical attention is the most important action you can take following an accident. Regardless of whether or not you feel pressing symptoms, seeking immediate care will do wonders in terms of arguing your case down the road, as opposing insurers can’t claim that was a delay in treatment– in a way, it’s a form of evidence. In the event that you actually have been severely hurt, don’t worry about anything except what medical responders tell you. The rest can be figured out after the fact.
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If you do feel physically able and the crash site is at a point where it is safe for you to move around, it’s never a bad idea to use a smartphone or digital camera to take ample photographs of everything you see at the scene of the crash. So long as they are even somewhat identifiable, photos from the accident site can become vital pieces of evidence, including but not limited to:
- Damages to all vehicles involved (especially your own)
- Tire marks and other road/ property damages
- Any of your belongings that were damaged or destroyed
- Trash or debris littered about
- Any physical injury identifiers such as bruises, cuts, burns, broken bones, etc.
- License plates of all vehicle involves
- Weather indicators
Another important action to consider is to try and exchange contact information with any witnesses who may happen to be at the scene and saw the incident take place. If they are willing, they can provide either a testimony or statement in your favor which can go a long way in arguing your claim.
Lastly, it is extremely important for accident victims to call and request local law enforcement to respond to the crash if they haven’t already been alerted. Authorities can conduct an introductory investigation and file a police accident report. These reports, as you might have guessed, are also crucial pieces of evidence that are very influential in determining the validity of a case.
Additional Steps to Take in the Days and Weeks Following the Crash
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Just because the accident has been physically cleaned up does not mean that the process of preserving evidence is over with. Usually, it isn’t until after an accident has taken place that claimants truly begin to see the benefits of enlisting a skilled attorney, as they can obtain records and video surveillance footage from any nearby institution that may have recorded the incident. In addition, they can also hire accident reconstruction and medical experts to confirm how events transpired.
In the event that the defendant also violated criminal law, law enforcement will conduct their own investigation into the matter. It’s more common than you may think for a civil proceeding such as a personal injury lawsuit to run alongside a reckless driving or DUI case. When that happens, the plaintiff’s attorney can utilize evidence from those cases that could also be influential for the purposes of your claim. The most common examples of this include on-site sobriety tests and blood alcohol tests.
Connect With Motor Vehicle Accident Attorneys
If you’ve been injured in an auto accident at the fault of another party to the extent that you believe legal action is necessary, contact the trusted motor vehicle attorneys from Van Law Firm today for a no-cost consultation and case evaluation. We have a certified 5-star reputation for a reason, and with numerous settlements in excess of a million dollars, you won’t want to go anywhere else. Call our office nearest you now for more information.
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