No one is safe from a car accident anywhere. The numbers might not jump at you, but the fact remains – car crashes are a fact of life. In the world’s modern cities, say, Seattle, the trend of car accidents is on on a concerning trend higher and higher. In 2022 alone, the Washington State Department of Transportation numbered more than eight thousand cases of car-related accidents in which about 36 people died, and nearly 250 people were gravely injured.
Your health and safety should always be your priority after a car accident. Furthermore, in accidents with lesser serious injuries, you can collect evidence from the scene to help in subsequent legal recovery. But in other cases wherein your injuries may be too severe to allow you to do anything but wait for a medical response, you may rely on legal experts, such as the Seattle auto accident lawyers at Boohoff Law, to collect available evidence on your behalf.
Below are seven key things and considerations to remember when gathering evidence after a car accident.
Collect All Drivers’ Information
Collect every piece of relevant information, including:
The driver’s license numbers
License number plates
Insurance policy numbers
The drivers’ addresses and other contact information.
What Was the At-Fault Driver’s State Shortly After the Accident?
It may be impossible to determine precisely what the driver was doing during the accident. However, if you notice a smell of alcohol after the crash, the driver texting before the crash, or doing anything contributory, ensure you record everything you remember.
Take Note of the Road Signs
One of the leading causes of road crashes is the failure to observe road signs. If you suspect the driver of neglecting any road signs leading to the collision, ensure you gather video or photo evidence of road and safety signs in the vicinity.
Similarly, take proper records of the road conditions and whether any construction occurred. Write down the exact locations of any security, red light, or other cameras that might have recorded the accident.
Witnesses Are Important to Gathering Evidence
Were there any witnesses to the crash besides those involved in the collision? Ensure you collect their names and contact information, as their testimony may be relevant to your legal recovery.
Weather Conditions are Relevant Pieces of Evidence
Poor weather conditions are notorious causes of road accidents. Such conditions may include icy road conditions, heavy storms, rain, and fog, which may blur motorists’ views. Also, take note of the lighting and other environmental factors that may have led to the crash.
Gathering Evidence Goes Beyond the Crash Scene
When filing a legal claim for compensation after an accident, you need every bit of supporting evidence. This extends beyond the photographic evidence you collect at the crash scene, including medical reports.
Medical reports and records are important to prove the extent of your injuries and the treatments provided. Such records include doctor’s notes, diagnostic tests, prescription medications, and treatment plans. Ensure you also keep a record of medical receipts and bills.
A Lawyer Can Collect Evidence on Your Behalf
A personal injury lawyer can collect different types of evidence to build and support your case, including:
The Accident Report
A personal injury lawyer can request a copy of the collision report from the Police Service. If necessary, the lawyer will request copies of any other official accident and injury reports, such as corporate incident reports and internal retail reports.
The lawyer will promptly obtain recorded or written statements from witnesses who can describe the precise nature of the accident.
Copies of medical records can prove the extent of your injuries and establish their impact on your life.
Photos and Videos
Visual evidence can help support your claim strongly to determine the accident’s severity. The accident lawyer may collect video footage from red light cameras.
Property Damage Records
If your personal property was damaged during the accident, the lawyer could help present the records of the repair costs and replacement values for compensation.
Employment and Income Records
Accident injuries may affect your ability to work. Your lawyer can collect and present documentation of your lost wages and any other reductions in your earning capacity. Such documentation includes tax returns, pay stubs, and correspondence from your employer.
In conclusion, gathering evidence after a car accident is crucial for a successful insurance claim or legal case. Remember these seven key points: document the scene, gather witness statements, take photos, obtain police reports, preserve physical evidence, seek medical attention, and consult a personal injury attorney. Being prepared can make all the difference in obtaining the compensation you deserve.