The Importance of Preserving Evidence After a Collision
After a crash, your thoughts may fly in a million directions. First, of course, is your concern for your own health and safety, plus that of your passengers and the other drivers and occupants involved. But you may also worry about everything from the condition of your car to the appointment you’re about to miss. You may think about the groceries in your trunk, the childcare arrangements you’ll have to make or the fear that this accident will be unaffordable.
But, as difficult as it may be, it’s important to focus, putting your health and safety first and preserving as much evidence as possible. Documenting the scene and noting details will help show that you are not at fault and make a strong case for the insurance company.
How to collect evidence after a crash
Insurance companies require more accident-related evidence than you might think, doubly so if your case requires litigation. That’s why, after a crash, you’ll want to spend some time noting and recording as many details as possible.
If you’re injured, in shock or overwhelmed, ask an emergency contact to meet you at the crash site to help. This person can relieve some stress, helping get the word out to friends, family members and your employer. But your emergency contact can also help document the scene if you’re unable, providing a vital service for your eventual personal injury case. If someone is unable to meet you at the scene and you’re unable to return yourself, asking a trusted loved one to return later and document what’s available is preferable to not doing anything at all.
What evidence should you document after a car accident?
So, what do you need to document? The short answer is as much as possible.
- Photograph the site, including anything that may have contributed to the accident, like a blown tire, an object in the road or a blinking light.
- Photograph the cars involved and the resulting damage.
- Exchange information with the other driver.
- Take down the contact information of any witnesses and record their story of what happened.
- Ensure the responding officer creates an accident report, but don’t interfere with law enforcement’s documentation of the scene.
- Seek medical treatment, even if you feel your injuries are minor or may resolve on their own. It’s very hard to make a case unless you directly tie your injuries to the accident.
After the immediate accident, be sure to keep all invoices and documents related to the crash. This includes medical charges billed to your insurance, car repairs, car rental expenses and missed time from work.
Photograph your injuries and the resulting treatment, including casts and bandages.
Also take the time to write down your recollection of the accident—what happened and when. Though it might be replaying on a loop right now, settlements can take time and details often become fuzzy. Be aware of what you share after the crash, especially on social media.
Personal Injury Attorney in Macon, Ga.
If you have been injured, you need a Macon accident lawyer with experience. The Macon personal injury attorneys at Buzzell, Welsh & Hill will help ensure you get the compensation you deserve. Contact us for a free consultation today.