How to Collect Evidence After a Car Accident
If you or someone you care about has been injured in a car accident caused by the actions of another driver, you should be entitled to compensation for what happened. However, securing this compensation will revolve around proving liability. In order to prove liability for a car accident, it is important to obtain evidence. The evidence-gathering process after a car accident can seem complicated, and this often takes place in various stages. These stages begin as soon as an accident occurs and can take place for weeks after the incident.
Gather Evidence Right After the Crash
It should be noted that the number one priority of any person involved in a car accident is to seek medical attention for any injuries they may have sustained. Even if you do not feel any pain, please understand that the signs and symptoms of many injuries do not show up until hours or even days after the crash.
If it is safe to do so at the scene of the crash, those involved can begin gathering evidence in a number of ways. This includes using a cell phone or another type of camera to take photographs of everything at the scene that could be used by the insurance carriers or a personal injury jury. This includes the following:
- Damage to any vehicle
- Skid marks on the roadway
- Debris scattered around the scene
- Traffic conditions
- Weather conditions
- License plates
Additionally, it is important to get the names and contact information of any eyewitnesses at the scene of the crash. Eyewitnesses may be able to provide statements to insurance carriers or testimony at a personal injury trial.
Finally, it is crucial to ensure that police officers come to the scene of the crash so that they can conduct a preliminary investigation and complete an accident report. You or the police officer can get the other driver’s name, driver’s license number, and insurance carrier information.
Obtain Additional Evidence After the Car Accident
After the initial incident is over with, this does not mean that the evidence-gathering process is completed. You may need to secure assistance from a skilled personal injury lawyer who can use their resources to conduct a more thorough investigation into the incident. This could include obtaining video surveillance footage from nearby homes or businesses that may have captured the incident. An attorney can also work with accident reconstruction experts who can piece together what happened at the scene of the crash.
If there was a violation of law by any party involved, police officers will likely be conducting an investigation into the incident. Criminal charges may have even been filed in the case. For example, it is not uncommon for an insurance claim or personal injury lawsuit to run concurrently with an ongoing DUI case or a case involving reckless criminal driving. In these instances, an attorney can work with law enforcement officials to obtain any evidence being used in those cases that could also prove the liability of the at-fault party. This could include blood alcohol test results, field sobriety test footage, police reports, and more.
Contact a Car Accident Lawyer Today
If a personal injury lawsuit becomes necessary, additional information could be obtained through the use of written questions that your Seattle car accident attorney submits to the other party that must be answered under oath and within a specified amount of time. These written statements (interrogatories) are used to gather evidence, such as learning the conduct of the at-fault party prior to the accident occurring.