After a car accident it is important to gather as much evidence as possible for your insurance claim or injury lawsuit. The more documentation to support your claim, the more likely you are to reach a settlement in your favor. Below are some of the important types of evidence to gather for your car accident claim.
Evidence and the Burden of Proof
The burden of proof for obtaining compensation after a car accident lies with the person seeking damages. The injured party must establish that the other driver was at fault in causing the accident, therefore showing they suffered an injury. To meet the burden of proof, you must show all the evidence that supports your story of events leading up to the accident including claims for physical injury and lost wages. Forms of evidence may include documents like medical bills and records, photographs, witness statements or testimonies.
Evidence from the scene of the accident
After an accident, it is important to scope out the scene and gather evidence that will be helpful to file your claim. First, check to make sure everyone is okay including passengers, other drivers and call the paramedics if needed. The next step is to call the police to file the report. The police report is extremely important to determine which driver is legally at fault. Gather information from all drivers involved including name, address, driver’s license number, vehicle plate numbers and insurance information. If any drivers were driving for an employer, get that information as well.
Use a smartphone or camera to take photographs of the accident scene and any damage. Check to see if there were witnesses and gather names and contact information from them. Pay attention to the condition of the vehicles, location of traffic signals or any skid marks on the road. The more you gather the better you will be able to make your claim.
Evidence of damages
Recovery of compensation for damages is one of the most significant aspects of a car accident case. Keep track of all records related to car repairs, rentals or improvements made to your car shortly before and after the accident. Some of the most important evidence to gather is related to physical injuries. Getting timely medical treatment for injuries and informing health care providers that you were involved in an accident is very important.
Keep a detailed record of healthcare appointments including who you saw, treatments obtained and the cost of each visit. Once treatment is finished, ask your doctor for a complete copy of all medical records. Also make sure to gather all bills and information related to lost wages.
If you filed a personal injury lawsuit, all evidence obtained from the at-fault driver will be useful in court. You can gather this evidence through accident interrogatories or a deposition. Interrogatories are written questions the other party must answer under oath in a certain period of time. A deposition is an out-of-court testimony given under oath and recorded by a court reporter. Depositions are helpful to reveal important evidence and can be used in trial if needed.
The more documentation and evidence, the stronger your case will be and the more likely you will have a successful outcome.