Documenting the Scene of an Auto Accident: The Evidence You Need to Gather and Who You Need to Call
The scene following an auto accident is often chaotic, stressful, and overwhelming. The last thing on most people’s minds following this traumatizing event is what actions they need to take after the crash.
Yet, you must realize that the steps you take after an auto collision are not only critical in protecting your health and safety but your legal rights as well. That is why in this blog post, we want to help simplify this process for you and discuss the exact steps you need to take after a motor vehicle collision.
The first thing that you need to do following a car accident is to contact 911. This is the fastest way to get your accident on record while also ensuring that you notify emergency medical services that you require immediate medical attention.
Once the police get to the scene, they can investigate the vehicle crash and write down their findings in their police report. If you decide to pursue legal action for your injuries and damages, this police report can provide you with vital evidence regarding what happened and who was at fault.
If you do not need immediate medical assistance and the area is safe, you need to make sure you collect as much evidence from the accident scene as you can. This evidence will often play a critical role in showing liability, damages and helping you overcome legal disputes. That is why you want to obtain numerous pictures and videos of:
- The vehicles involved in the accident
- The position of these vehicles
- Your visible injuries
- Any skid marks on the road
- The weather conditions at the time of the accident
- Any traffic signs near the accident scene
- The road conditions
- Any other physical evidence that can help show what happened, such as broken glass, bloodstains, and deployed airbags
Get Driver Contact Details
You will need to exchange information with all the other drivers involved in the accident. This information needs to include names, contact information, driver’s license numbers, and insurance information. However, as you discuss these details, you need to ensure you do not say anything that can impact your claim. For instance, do not go into detail about the incident. Avoid any definitive statements, and do not take fault for anything that happened. These types of statements can come back and hurt you.
If there were people at the scene of the accident who saw what happened. You need to make sure to also get their names and numbers. These witness statements can be incredibly crucial for your claim, as they can help back up your version of the events. However, do not worry if you could not get these details after the accident. Once you retain an experienced personal injury attorney, these lawyers can handle this step for you and get the statements you need.
Look For Footage of the Motor Vehicle Accident
Obtaining footage of an accident can be a game-changer when it comes to proving liability. Consequently, you must speak to businesses in the area and see if they have any video cameras or surveillance systems that may have recorded the crash. However, it is crucial to act fast in these situations, as many times this footage may not be around for long. If you cannot get the actual tape, ask the business if you can view it and then record it with your cell phone.
Do Not Post on Social Media Sites
It may be tempting to connect with others on social media sites and vent about the accident and the horrific ordeal you experienced. However, you must understand that the insurance company is looking for any evidence it can to challenge or diminish your claim. For these reasons, you must avoid posting anything online about the accident, as these posts can end up hurting your case.
Get Checked Out By a Doctor
Following a car accident, even if your injuries appear minor, you still need to get checked over by a medical professional. Quite often, serious injuries such as head and brain trauma can take days to manifest. Yet, the longer you wait to get these conditions treated, the more deadly they can become. That is why it is imperative to have your doctor examine you for these fatal injuries.
Besides, these checkups are also essential for your personal injury claim. If you put off this medical assessment, the insurance company will try to argue that your injuries are not that serious or that they resulted from a subsequent event. Fortunately, when you get examined after your collision, your doctor will write down their assessment of your injuries in their medical report. If the insurance company tries to make these arguments, this report will help you prove them wrong by creating a direct link between your injuries and the accident.
Start a Journal
It is important that after your car accident, you document everything that happened during and after the crash. Over time memories of the accident can fade. However, when you write down details of the accident in your journal, you can preserve these critical facts and ensure they are not forgotten.
As a result, you must jot down something about the incident every day, including details about your injuries, the treatments you have to get, the extent of your pain and suffering, and how this collision has affected your and your family’s life.
Motor vehicle claims are incredibly tedious, complicated, and stressful. Not only do they require a thorough understanding of the state’s laws, but to be able to have a successful car accident claim, you need to provide detailed evidence and sound legal arguments that can help show what happened and who was at fault for your crash. Fortunately, with an experienced personal injury attorney on your side, you do not have to handle this complex legal battle on your own. These lawyers can provide you with the following legal assistance:
- Go over your case in detail, answer any questions you have, and determine the best legal options you can pursue.
- Investigate your accident thoroughly and collect valuable evidence that is needed to prove fault and damages.
- Ensure that documents are correctly processed and everything is filed before time runs out.
- Handle all the discussions and negotiations with the insurance company and pursue a fair settlement amount on your behalf.
- Bring in the experts such as accident reconstructionists, economists, doctors, and engineers to substantiate your claims.
- Take your case to trial if the other side is unwilling to negotiate and fight for maximum damages.
Do not wait to get the legal help you need if a car accident has disrupted your life or the life of a family member. The Charbonnet Law Firm, LLC is here to help you get the money you need and fight for the justice you deserve. Contact us online today or call our office at (504) 294-3910 and let us show you how we can help you recover from your injuries.