Preserving Evidence For Your Personal Injury Claim
If you have been involved in a car accident and injured through no fault of your own, you may want to take steps as soon as possible to preserve evidence for your personal injury case. While you hope that the at-fault driver's insurance company will offer you a fair settlement, you can increase your chances of getting that fair settlement by acting now to preserve potentially valuable evidence. Read on for information on how to gather and preserve evidence of your vehicle accident.
The Accident Scene
As soon as you are able, return to the scene of the accident. Look for, photograph and take notes on the following evidence. Photograph the road or intersection, including road signs, traffic signals, skid marks, damaged property, etc. If you can safely do so, visit the scene at the same time and day of the week as the accident and photograph the scene from the vantage point of your vehicle. Visit any homes or businesses and get witness information.
Photographs of Evidence
- Take photos of the damage to your vehicle, inside and out.
- Try to locate any video recordings of the accident itself from nearby traffic, business or residential video cameras.
- Obtain any photographs of the accident scene taken by bystanders, witnesses or other vehicle occupants.
- Take photos of your torn and/or bloody clothing if available.
- Have a helper photograph your physical injuries.
Police or Accident Reports
It's important to get your own copy of the official report, usually completed at the scene or soon afterwards by the responding police officer. These reports are normally available at the police station of the municipality where the accident occurred, sometimes for a nominal fee. Sometimes, this report will include the police officer's opinion of the cause of the accident and witness contact information.
Getting the help of a personal injury attorney as soon as possible could be vital to the success of your claim. Witnesses need to be interviewed before their memory of the accident fades or they move away. Your attorney will interview not only witnesses to the actual accident, but also people who came in contact with you after the accident who can testify about your injuries.
While you can expect the at-fault driver's insurance company to compensate you for your vehicle and medical expenses, you may need to contact a personal injury attorney and file suit to get compensated for your pain and suffering as a result of your injuries. Make sure you get someone on your side to fight for the compensation you deserve. For more information, contact a personal injury lawyer.