Hiring a personal injury lawyer can greatly improve your chances of successfully collecting the settlement that you deserve. However, the steps you choose to take directly after being involved in a car accident will often determine just how likely your lawyer is to succeed in negotiating a fair settlement for your injuries. This is because much of the evidence that will be needed to prove your injury claim will be lost forever within hours or even minutes of your accident occurring. Taking the steps below can help to ensure this evidence is preserved and that your lawyer will have everything they need to be successful on your behalf.
Step 1: Collect Information From Drivers And Witnesses
One of the most important things your lawyer will need to prove is who is liable for causing your accident. While the other driver may openly admit liability, this is not likely. Instead, you should expect the other driver's insurance company to challenge liability in order to minimize the amount of your payout. If this happens, having statements from witnesses and the other driver can allow you to effectively prove your case.
When collecting information directly after your accident, be sure to make note of:
- Full legal names
- Contact information
- Driver's license and insurance information (not necessary when talking to witnesses)
You will also want to ask each individual to provide you with a written, signed statement regarding what they saw or experienced at the time of your accident.
Step 2: Take Photographs
When it comes to preserving evidence in your injury case, the old saying "a picture is worth a thousand words" could not be more true. This is because taking photos of the accident scene will allow your lawyer to prove exactly what damage your vehicle suffered during the accident, what damage was done to the other vehicle, and who was present at the accident scene. These photographs can also prove or disprove any claims that outside influences, such as poor weather conditions, may have contributed to the cause of your accident.
When photographing the accident scene, be sure to take pictures of:
- All vehicles involved in the accident, including your own
- Any skid marks or debris resulting from the accident
- Current weather and road conditions
- Any obstacles that may have impacted line of sight
A Final Thought
While collecting evidence from the accident scene is extremely important, it is not nearly as important as tending to your physical well-being. If you have suffered serious injuries as a result of your accident, the most important thing for you to do is seek immediate medical attention. Contacting a family member or a qualified attorney like Horlick Levitt Di Lella Personal Injury Lawyers immediately after your accident will allow them to quickly respond to the accident scene and collect any evidence that you were unable to collect yourself.