One of the primary ways to protect your legal rights after an accident is to preserve evidence. It’s the key to having a winning claim. Immediately after a car accident, the plaintiff should document his/her injuries for proper compensation. If you have been involved in an accident, there are certain steps you need to take to ensure you gather the correct evidence for your personal injury claim.
Finding and Gathering evidence
It’s vital to find and gather evidence following an accident. If you want for long, your evidence may be lost. For instance, if you were injured during rainy weather, the weather could change and you could lose the physical evidence.
There are many ways in which you can gather evidence. Some of the most common includes:
- Take photos: If you are not in an emergency situation, you should use your phone or camera to take pictures of the scene.
You can take photos from all angles and later choose the best. Taking such photos immediately would reflect the actual picture of the scene, and you may have less time to argue with the insurance company about the fault. You will require photos for:
✓ Property damage
You should take clear photos showing the location of the damage. Fortunately, the location of the damage can be used to prove the defendant was liable. For example, if you were involved in a rear-end collision, your car more likely to be damaged at the back bumper.
✓ Injuries suffered
Your injuries will play a critical factor in your compensation. You should take detailed photos of bruises, cuts, or any other injury you may have suffered. Remember that these photos may also be used by your treating doctor, who later can show up the nature and extent of your injuries. You should take pictures of your injuries, no matter how minor they may seem to be.
✓ Locate credible witnesses
Credible witnesses can bolster your personal injury claim. A person who never saw what happened during your accident and made to see you after the accident could testify that you were hurt. They may also have overhead what others said. The insurance company may be also eager to learn what the witnesses would have to say concerning the accident.
✓ Use police report
Though a police report may be considered hearsay in some cases, it could be used to give facts of how the accident happened. The police report also plays a vital role as it makes things easier when establishing fault. If the law enforcement officers came to the scene of your accident, you could be sure of getting some evidence from their reports.
You should obtain a copy of the police report by calling the department number or any other method you may use. It’s worth noting that the at-fault driver’s insurance company may challenge witness credibility if the testimony changes. If you are not in a position to collect evidence immediately after the scene, you should call an experienced personal injury attorney in Bakersfield Ca to help you preserve such evidence.
Without evidence, it would be hard to prove how the defendant may have led to your injuries or property damage.
Why You Need To Preserve Evidence
There is no stronger evidence than having something to show rather than word of mouth. For instance, if you were injured in a slip and fall accident, you would likely prove your injuries by showing a damaged stair. Therefore, having the correct evidence for your car accident can help to show:
The burden of proof
You cannot demand compensation from the defendant without showing the damage they caused you. The plaintiff always has to bear the burden of proving that the other driver acted negligently to cause injury and damages. For instance, you can show medical expenses incurred in treating your injuries, lost wages due to time off work, etc.
Bolster your personal injury claim
Whether you will negotiate a settlement or move on to trial, you will have to produce evidence. Before filing your claim, you might want to gather police report, medical records or any other records deemed fit for your case. The insurance company will use all evidence provided to establish fault.
Without evidence, it’s impossible to convince the insurance company of the settlement amount you demand. Even after finding and gathering evidence, you need to prepare a written report of what happened. The hustles associated with the aftermath of a car accident can make you forget some vital details. You can refer to such information during the course of your claim.
One best way to have a successful personal injury claim is to have the correct evidence. If you have been injured after a car crash, you can choose to hire a lawyer to guide you in gathering evidence to boost your claim and get the compensation you deserve.
Also read: What to Do If You’ve Been Injured in a Car Accident?