If you were injured in an accident that wasn’t your fault, the evidence you collect at the scene could be important in a personal injury case. Whether you are pursuing a case against another driver involved in the accident or find yourself the subject of a case, well-documented evidence will be key in establishing who is at fault for the accident and, thus, liable for the injured party’s losses.
Based on The Benton Law Firm’s years of experience investigating and prosecuting personal injury cases, we will share a few tips for collecting valuable evidence at the scene of an accident.
Even so, you can only do so much. You need to focus on keeping yourself healthy and safe. An experienced personal injury lawyer can help fill in the gaps in evidence you cannot collect alone. Contact us immediately for more personalized advice about your case.
Report the Accident to the Police
Immediately after an accident occurs, call the police to report the accident. They will dispatch an officer who will ensure everyone’s safety and then make an accident report. In their report, the officer will note detailed information about each of the individuals and vehicles involved in the accident, including their name, contact information, vehicle make and model, and vehicle registration. Furthermore, the officer will evaluate everyone’s condition. If they suspect one of the drivers is under the influence of drugs or alcohol, they can administer a sobriety test.
This accident report will be important evidence for your personal injury case, so make sure you get a copy. Your lawyer can help you with this. The accident report can be difficult to understand, but your lawyer will also help you.
Take Lots of Pictures and Video
Even though the police officer will likely take detailed notes about the accident, pictures, and videos taken promptly after the accident are crucial evidence. Photograph each vehicle from all sides, any substantial damage to a vehicle, and any marks on the road leading up to the accident site that might provide clues as to how the accident occurred. Photograph any damage to surrounding property, such as road signs, guardrails, fences, sidewalks, buildings, etc. Do not post any photos on social media.
Making videos of the entire accident setting can also help capture factors like weather and other environmental conditions. Your lawyer may also be able to locate and access other video angles of the accident, such as the view from surveillance footage from local businesses or homeowners’ security cameras.
Write Down Everything as Soon as Possible
While the accident is fresh in your mind, write down exactly what happened in your own words. Include details about what happened in the moments leading up to and just before the accident. Record how the accident played out moment by moment to the best of your ability. You will be better able to recollect these details immediately after the accident, so do not delay recording your memories.
Before leaving the accident scene, write down the full name, contact information, and insurance information of all drivers involved in the accident, as well as the name and contact information of any passengers and bystanders who may have witnessed the accident. Also, write down the license plate of the vehicles involved. This information can be useful to your attorney during their investigation.
Be Careful What You Do and Say
Above all, look out for your own safety and those in the vicinity of the accident. If the scene seems unsafe, do not proceed with gathering evidence. If the responding police officer gives instructions to protect you and others at the scene, follow them.
Be wary of doing or saying something that might hurt your case. For example, do not talk to the other driver about the accident. Something you say could be construed as an admission of guilt. Stick to a straightforward exchange of information.
Furthermore, do not sign anything without a lawyer reviewing it first. Whether it’s a report about the accident that may have been influenced by the other driver or a document from an insurance company trying to pressure you into a settlement, ask an experienced car accident lawyer to review it before you sign it.
Finally, whether you feel seriously injured or not, you should see a doctor as soon as possible and let them know you are there because of an accident. Some injuries may not present symptoms right away, so it’s important to have documentation about your physical state before and after the accident and a record of what treatment a medical professional recommends.
Be sure to record all the medical expenses you incur as a result of your treatment for the accident. You should also keep a record or daily journal about all the difficulties you experience due to the accident or your resulting injuries, including emotional distress or depression.
Contact an Accident Lawyer at The Benton Law Firm
After you have collected evidence, one of the experienced personal injury attorneys at The Benton Law Firm can fill you in on your options for pursuing compensation for your personal injury claim.
Our expertise ranges from car accidents to boating accidents to workplace accidents. We will analyze the evidence, investigate to fill in any gaps and determine the most advantageous legal approach in your case, which may be mediation rather than a trial.
Our experienced team of personal injury lawyers has helped hundreds of satisfied clients get millions of dollars in compensation for their injuries. We focus on winning your case so that you can focus on your recovery.
Speak with one of our Dallas car accident attorneys about how we can help you pursue the compensation you deserve by calling (214) 777-7777. Or fill in the online contact request form to set up a free initial consultation about your case.