If you are involved in a new car accident, you should gather car accident claim evidence as soon as possible. Doing so helps protect your legal rights. Viable car accident claims evidence should lay a strong foundation for which it is possible to establish fault for the cause of such an accident. It should also show the extent of damages you or your loved one(s) incurred from the car accident. There are varied types of evidence that one can collect. Only gather evidence that contributes positive and relevant information to your claim.
The following are different types of evidence that a person must gather in preparation for a car accident claim.
1.) Video Footage and Photographs
If immediately after the accident you are in a condition to take photographs, you should take pictures of the accident scene. You may use your mobile phone camera if you do not have any other camera. Taking pictures of the accident scene from all directions helps record a clearer and a more detailed illustration of the accident scene. Take close-up pictures and pictures from a distance as well. Take pictures from as many angles as possible. If you have to, take photographs from the other drivers’ perspective. If the driver claims that he did not see you and the photograph proves that he should have been able to see your car approaching, then it is assumed that such a driver was negligent and he will lose the case. A single photograph can make a big difference. Make sure to cover all possible perspectives when photographing the scene.
Capture skid marks, if any, from both vehicles, traffic control devices, and any damaged property as well. It is the small details that might turn out to be viable car accident claim evidence.
Alternatively, you can shoot a video of the accident scene, damaged property, your injuries and vehicles involved. If possible, you may obtain video surveillance footage from outside cameras mounted on nearby buildings that might have captured the accident. Some cars have a surveillance system which records video which is useful in case an accident occurs. The surveillance video from the car might have clues to what caused the accident, and this might help with the claim.
2. Photos of the vehicles
Take pictures of ALL the cars in the accident. Such pictures should show damages on each of the cars involved, and the photographs should show the damage from both afar and close-up views. The insurers and juries can deduce facts from the damaged vehicles. The damage to the vehicles involved also tells a lot about how the accident occurred.
The damaged vehicle or property provides physical evidence of the accident. One should know exactly where the vehicle end up after the towing agents move it from the accident area. Also, one should instruct the towing agents to keep the vehicle as intact as possible. Sometimes the cause of an accident may be a faulty part in the vehicle’s build. In such an instance, an expert mechanic should examine the wreckage and determine whether the accident was as a result of a faulty part(s).
3. Medical Records
Injuries usually act as a part of physical car accident evidence. Medical records should clearly record your injuries and medical damages resulting from the accident. If possible, keep a pain journal where you record both your emotional and physical struggles that come about as a direct impact of being involved in the car accident.
4. Police Report
If you reported the accident, a police report should be available. The report records details of the incident from the officer’s position. It also reveals any traffic citations given to any of the individual drivers involved in the accident. If there were witnesses, the report might contain contacts and statements from such witnesses. It is wise to collect contacts from witnesses because your attorney may contact the eyewitness so that they may testify in your accident claim.
5. Witness Statements
Statements issued by third party witness can be a powerful evidence of fault. Third part witnesses are valuable because they are independent and unbiased. They do not have a motive such as financial interest in the outcome of the car accident claim. Drivers and passengers may give biased information with the motive of financial compensation. Witnesses can be either passerby who saw the accident happen, road and utility workers, drivers and passengers of the cars involved, people who gave first aid to the victims, business owners, customers or employees within the vicinity of the accident.
When speaking to the witness, avoid arguing your side of the story. If the witness thinks you are trying to manipulate him, he might withdraw his testimony. Ask the witness to put down in writing what he saw and heard at the instance of the accident in details where possible. Gather as many legitimate witness statements as possible. The more witness statements you provide to the claims adjuster, the stronger the proof of fault and case you will have if the case goes to trial.
If possible, you should ask the other driver to provide identification documents and contact information. You should also obtain the drivers’ insurance details if your state allows. Yo should never chase down the driver in a hit and run scenario because doing so will hurt your claim and maybe result in more damage. Your priority should be making sure that you and the other occupants of the vehicle involved in the accident are safe and seek medical help immediately. If everyone is okay, you may proceed to collect witness statements, and other car accidents claim evidence.
Viable car accident claim evidence:–Police Accident Record and Reports -Property Damage(s)-Bills, and Medical Records-Photographs and Video Evidence-Witness, Passengers’ and Drivers’ Statements-Invoices for Replacement of Damaged Property and Services Related to the Car Accident-Receipts for Repairs
If a person needs help with collecting car accident claim evidence, he or she may seek the intervention of a car accident attorney. The car accident attorney may help track and preserve the evidence that an individual might otherwise find difficult to keep up with in the case. Remember, the claims adjuster will be thorough when vetting your claim, so be thorough when collecting your car accident claim evidence. Do not misrepresent or lie about the accident because doing so might result in the disapproval of your car accident claim for compensation. Preserve and present any paperwork that might help with your case.