At The Dominguez Firm, our experienced car accident attorneys understand the importance of collecting and preserving evidence after a car accident. With over 35 years of experience and a winning 96%* success rate, we know how to handle your car accident injury claim. If you’ve been in an accident, call us today for your free consultation at (800) 818-1818.
In this article, you will learn why it’s important to collect evidence after a car accident, what documentation is needed, how to properly photograph the scene, and everything else you should do to strengthen your case. We are here to help you through every step of the process!
The Importance of Gathering Evidence After a Car Accident
The more evidence you have documenting your claim, the better your chance of success in court or during settlement negotiations with an insurance company. As such, you must collect as much evidence as possible immediately after an accident. One side note, only do this if it’s safe for you to do so. Your health and safety should always be your first concern.
Collecting evidence helps protect yourself legally and financially as well by ensuring that those responsible for causing your car accident are held accountable for their actions. Without proper documentation proving fault and liability, getting them to compensate you fairly for damages caused by their negligence or recklessness while driving can be difficult. If they dispute your claim or try lowballing you on your settlement offer, then having documented evidence will go a long way towards helping prove fault and getting fair compensation that covers medical bills, lost wages and pain and suffering among other things due to your accident.
Types Of Evidence to Document
Taking pictures of the scene of the accident can help provide an accurate visual representation of what happened. Taking pictures from multiple angles and distances is essential to capture all aspects of the scene accurately. Pictures of any property damage or personal injuries sustained during the accident should also be taken. You may also want to include a ruler or other measuring device in some photos so that you can accurately measure distances between objects in the photo later on.
Video footage can also be valuable when documenting a car accident. If anyone present at the scene has video capabilities, such as with their phone or camera, they should start recording immediately after the accident. Video footage provides an even more detailed account than photographs because it captures audio and visual elements from the scene.
Witness statements are another critical element when documenting a car accident in Los Angeles. Witnesses who saw what happened during or immediately after an accident can provide valuable insight into what occurred and who was at fault for it occurring in the first place. Witnesses may be asked to testify in court or provide written statements describing what they saw or heard during or shortly after an accident.
Finally, police reports are also essential when documenting a car accident in Los Angeles and many other areas across California and beyond. Police reports typically contain information about who was involved in an incident as well as where, when, why and how it happened. The police report should also contain contact information for any witnesses found at the scene and any other relevant details related to the accident.
How To Properly Photograph the Accident Scene and Vehicle Damage
Taking multiple photos of both vehicles involved in the accident from different angles is crucial. Make sure there are clear shots of any visible damage on both vehicles to avoid confusion about who was at fault. Taking a photo of each vehicle’s license plate and registration sticker is also helpful. This will help establish who owns each vehicle and if they were adequately insured during the accident.
If there are any skid marks or other signs that may have contributed to the accident, such as broken streetlights or missing signage, make sure to document those as well with photographs. Documentation like this can be instrumental in helping prove your case.
What To Avoid
You may be tempted to move debris out of the way or remove parts from either vehicle for better visibility. Still, it’s best not to do this before taking pictures because it could impact how much compensation you receive from your insurance provider if they deem these changes unnecessary for documentation purposes. It’s also important not to clean up too much after an accident – evidence left behind can sometimes help prove fault later down the road if needed.
Gathering Contact Information From the Parties Involved
The most important thing when it comes to collecting contact information is doing it quickly and accurately. The best way to do this is by writing down all relevant information at the accident scene. Ensure you get the following from each party involved:
- Driver’s license number
- Phone number
- Insurance company name, and policy number
Try to get two copies of each piece of information – one for yourself and one for each other party involved in the accident. If anyone refuses to provide their information or provides inaccurate or incomplete information, be sure to note that as well.
Also, take pictures of any damage done at the scene. Include your vehicle and those belonging to other people involved in the accident and any skid marks or other evidence that may have been left behind. This will be invaluable later on when taking legal action.
Collecting Contact Information from Witnesses
If witnesses present at the scene did not have direct involvement in the accident but may have seen something important, try to get their contact information as well so they can testify if needed later on. Even if they don’t remember anything specific about what happened during or after the accident, their testimony can still be important because it could establish who was present at the time and where they were standing relative to each other when everything happened. Be sure to get their full name, address, phone number, and email address.
Preserving Physical Evidence (Vehicle Parts, Damaged Personal Items, Medical Records)
Preserving evidence after an accident can be the difference between getting compensated for your damages or not. As an injured party, you are responsible for providing evidence proving the other driver was at fault. That evidence can come in many forms, such as photographs of the scene of the accident and witness testimony. However, one of the most compelling pieces of evidence will be physical proof which shows what happened during the accident.
This physical evidence could include vehicle parts from either car damaged during the crash. If you have access to those parts, save them somewhere safe until you need them for your claim. If any items in your car were destroyed due to the incident (e.g., laptop computer, cell phone), it would be wise to save those items as well since they may help prove your case when you file your lawsuit against the parties responsible.
Most importantly, it’s crucial you save medical records related to any injuries sustained during the crash since medical bills make up one of the largest parts of a person’s claim. They will help build a stronger case as they show how much money is needed for treatment costs and other expenses related to recovering from an injury caused by another driver’s negligence.
How Long Should You Keep Evidence?
It’s vital to keep physical evidence for as long as possible. As long as you have physical proof that relates directly to the accident — whether it be vehicle parts, broken personal items, or medical records — it will benefit you when you pursue legal action.
Seek Assistance for Your Car Accident From an Experienced Personal Injury Attorney
Collecting evidence and contact information after a car accident is an integral part of the process if you suffered serious injuries. It’s vital to keep physical evidence for as long as possible, including vehicle parts, broken personal items, or medical records that relate directly to the incident.
If you or a loved one were seriously injured in a car accident, The Dominguez Firm can provide experienced legal counsel. With over 35 years of experience assisting clients during difficult times like these and a 96%* success rate, we are the perfect powerhouse legal team to turn to. Call today for your free consultation at (800) 818-1818.