Auto accidents happen all the time, and many of them cause injuries to drivers, passengers, or even pedestrians. Injured parties often file personal injury claims as a means of obtaining the compensation they need to pay hospital bills, make up for lost wages, and move on with life, but just filing a claim doesn’t guarantee a win.
Accident victims will need to provide compelling evidence that proves who was at fault, what type of injuries they have received, that the injuries resulted from the car crash, and that they have suffered as a result. Read on to find out how to gather essential evidence to make a car accident claim successful.
Gather Evidence From the Scene, If Possible
Some people may not be able to gather evidence from the scene of the crash, especially if they are unconscious or unable to move when the ambulance shows up. Accident victims who are able to stand up, walk around and think clearly should take the time to gather evidence for themselves and their loved ones, though. Much of the car accident evidence regarding who caused the accident can only be obtained from the crash site, and it’s best to do it while the scene is fresh.
Types of Evidence to Gather
It’s not enough to just write down what happened or take a few photos for social media. Make a point of gathering pertinent evidence that could be used to build a case, such as:
- Photographs of the accident scene, damage to vehicles, road defects, and other consequences or potential contributing factors
- Contact information from witnesses, such as other drivers and pedestrians
- The other driver’s contact and insurance information
- The name and badge number of the officer who arrives to file a report
- The police accident report number
Collect Evidence of Personal Injuries
Even if the injuries incurred during a car accident aren’t bad enough to prevent the victim from getting up and moving around, it’s still important to seek medical care immediately. Some types of serious injuries, including concussions, internal bleeding, and others are not externally apparent, and diagnosing them quickly can be a life-or-death situation.
Since accident victims are seeing doctors or heading to the emergency room, anyway, they should make a point of gathering relevant evidence. In this case, evidence may involve medical records, receipts for prescription or OTC medications, diagnostic images, and bills for time spent in the hospital.
Be Able to Prove Damages
Even when someone is injured in a car accident, the bulk of the recovery will likely be related to vehicle damage, not medical bills. Proving this form of damage usually involves gathering past maintenance and service files, records of recent repairs and upgrades, and contact information for the mechanic who provided the services.
Collecting evidence of vehicular damage can serve two purposes. It can both help to prove that the accident was not caused by a mechanical failure and make it easier to determine the amount of damages.
Don’t Wait to Hire a Lawyer
Accident victims shouldn’t wait until a ton of time has passed to speak with a lawyer about filing a personal injury claim. As time goes on, it becomes harder to gather evidence, take accurate statements from witnesses, and build a compelling case. Most car accident attorneys offer free consultations, so victims have nothing to lose by reaching out to speak with someone about how to move forward.