How to Preserve Evidence for a Car Accident Claim
November 12, 2021
When you get into a horrendous car accident, you need to collect evidence to show who is responsible for causing the crash. Sometimes, it can be difficult to tell what happened in the car wreckage because of various circumstances. Evidence is used as a way to bring the other party to justice for their actions. You will need to preserve it to avoid the destruction of evidence so that you have a chance at getting compensated for the damages from your accident. With the help of a car accident attorney, you can receive helpful advice that can guide you through your settlement claim and teach you what kind of evidence you should collect.
How Do I Preserve the Evidence for a Car Crash Claim?
The steps you can take to preserve evidence will mainly require you to take clear and reliable pictures of the car accident scene. You will need to pay attention to all aspects of the car crash without any details.
Collect Physical evidence
After your car accident, you will notice that your car has bumps, dents, and broken parts falling off its body. You should take pictures of the entire car from the front, each side, and the back. Also, zoom in on smaller details such as scratches, no matter how minor. You can include other aspects of the crash, such as obstacles, hazards, and any objects on the road. Take pictures of the tire marks on the road, the debris, and the positioning of all the vehicles that were involved. You will also want to take photos of the other cars and the damage they have to show what angle the other vehicles hit each other. You will also want to take pictures of the cars’ license tags to help your attorney identify who was involved if you didn’t get their contact information. The physical evidence will show how bad the collision was and help paint a picture of how the accident occurred.
Take Good Photographs
Make sure that the images are taken from different angles and in good lighting. You will want the images to be sharp and easy to decipher. Try to take the pictures immediately after the accident before the cars are moved out of the way; this way, you can accurately show what condition each of the involved vehicles were in. You may also want to make sure your settings allow your images to have timestamps to indicate when they happened. GPS coordinates are also stored in photos as metadata and are written into the EXIF data of the image file. An investigator analyzing the picture can access this information about the photographs if necessary.
Get Witnesses to Help
After a devastating car accident, there may be many bystanders nearby who have witnessed the crash. You can collect their contact information and have your attorney contact them later so that they can testify on your behalf. Witnesses are helpful when you make a settlement claim and are a form of reliable evidence when presenting your case to the other party’s insurance company. Because witnesses observed the crash from a distance, they can describe how the accident occurred and mention aspects of the collision that you may not have noticed. Their testimony can help your attorney prove who is at fault for the car accident. When witnesses don’t see the crash itself, they can still confirm you were injured if they observed your behavior after the collision. In some cases, the witness might overhear a statement from the other driver that proves they were at fault. Your attorney will have to contact them immediately after your car accident not to forget the details and provide an accurate recounting of what happened.
Document Personal Injuries
Another approach to preserving evidence is to take pictures of the wounds you received after your car crash. You will want to take pictures of cuts, bruises, scratches, blood on you or your car, and other indications of your injuries. Afterward, it is essential to see a doctor and get medical help. This will allow you to identify all of your injuries and also help you get treated for your wounds. Once you’ve been treated, take pictures of bandages, casts, splints, braces, and crutches you may have to use because of the car accident. Even if your injuries are minor, you should still take pictures to provide proof for your case. This will help your lawyer prove how intense your injuries were, leaving no room for exaggeration or misinformation.
Keep Track of Damages
Because your injuries will require you to get medical treatment, you will likely have medical bills piling up, along with the expenses of other damages. You should keep track of all of your bills for healthcare treatments, car repairs, and any damaged property. This information will also be used as reliable evidence that will be calculated into your settlement.
Add Information to Police Report
Wait until the police show up at the scene of the accident so that you can provide your experience. You will want to correct the police to let them know how you believe the accident occurred and what you were doing while driving. This will prevent the other driver from providing their opinion and putting the blame on you. The police report can be used as official evidence your lawyer can include in your settlement claim.
How Do Car Accident Lawyers Preserve Evidence?
Your attorney will use additional methods to help collect evidence to improve your chances of receiving compensation. This evidence will be the key to proving that the other driver is at fault for your damages.
Traffic Camera Footage
In addition to your pictures, your attorney will also collect information from nearby traffic cameras if available. Traffic cameras are a very reliable form of evidence, as they will provide in detail how the accident occurred. Your attorney can slow down the footage and observe frame by frame who caused the accident. Because your attorney knows traffic laws in-depth, they can see if the other driver broke the rules by making unlawful maneuvers on the road, passed red lights, didn’t yield, or didn’t stay in their lane. This can be used in conjunction with your pictures, as the video may not show all angles of driving behavior.
If the other driver showed strange behavior, the police officer at the scene may administer a drug test. This can be a breathalyzer, urine, or blood test to see if the other driver was abusing a substance. They may have been under the influence of alcohol and driving drunk. Alternatively, they may have used an illicit drug. Witnesses can also testify whether the other driver was acting abnormally, and this information can be included in their testimony. When your attorney requests drug tests and finds out that the other driver tested positive on a drug test, this is additional evidence that proves that the other party was acting neglectfully.
Your attorney may request the driving records of the other party to scrutinize their past behavior. Some drivers have repeat patterns of making the same mistakes, violating laws, and getting citations. If a driver has a troubled past, it may make a good argument that they were the cause of your accident. This is especially the case if you have a clean driving record and follow traffic laws.
If the other party was on the phone during the car accident, your attorney can find out. They can subpoena the other driver and get cellphone usage data from their phone company. If the other driver was texting, your attorney will know what time the text messages went through to prove if this happened around the time of the crash. This way, the other driver will be considered at fault for your accident due to distracted driving.
Learn More on How to Preserve Evidence for Your Car Accident Claim
Car accidents are expensive and result in many damages that take a long time to recover from financially. After a terrible accident, you will need an attorney to help guide you through the settlement claim process. They will let you know if your case is eligible for compensation, as you may not have a case if you happen to be at fault. Your attorney will also give you valuable advice, such as not verbally providing any information about your crash to the other party’s insurance company, so they don’t try to use what you say against you. Because attorneys are knowledgeable in car accident claims, they can help you obtain maximum compensation for your damages. Contact Georgia Trial Firm for a free consultation.