Evidence plays an extremely important role in proving fault in a car accident claim, which means that properly investigating after a car accident is critical to getting a good outcome.
Car accident investigations are made substantially easier when they are initiated quickly.
For this reason, victims of car accidents are always encouraged to contact an experienced car accident lawyer as soon as possible, following a collision.
General Aspects to Pay Attention to When Investigating After a Car Accident
Every car accident has its own unique set of circumstances. Therefore, the corresponding investigations will differ to accommodate those circumstances.
There are, however, general aspects that apply to car accident investigations that should always be seen to when possible.
- An examination of the physical evidence, including tire marks on the road and damage to the vehicles,
- An analysis of GPS data from relevant vehicles,
- An analysis of accident footage from traffic cameras and monitored intersections,
- Eyewitness interviews, and
- An examination of documents pertaining to the accident, including police, medical, and towing company records.
In a car accident lawsuit, the burden of proving negligence lies with the injured party. This can be much more involved than it seems.
An experienced lawyer however, can guide accident victims through the legal system. They will also keep victims from making costly mistakes.
Additionally, lawyers have greater financial resources, and more legal resources available to them than civilians.
They often utilize whole teams of investigators and experts, including expert witnesses, forensic experts, and legal consultants.
Your attorney will also act as a liaison between you and the insurance companies.
If you are physically able, there are some things you can do at the accident scene to help your lawyer.
Evidence can vanish quickly. Therefore, it is important to quickly preserve as much as possible.
Take pictures to document the accident scene. If you have a passenger, they can take pictures while you speak with the police.
Be sure to photograph the following:
- All vehicle and property damage,
- The positions of the vehicles,
- Road conditions,
- Road and traffic signs, and
- Anything that might benefit your case.
Talk to witnesses and other drivers involved. Witnesses can be helpful when determining fault. They can vouch for you if the other driver’s insurance company tries to assess you with blame.
Talk to the passengers in other vehicles, as well. Make notes of all the witness’s contact information, including name, address, and phone number.
For the other drivers involved you will need:
- Their personal contact information, including driver’s license information,
- Their insurance company’s name and phone number,
- The make, model, and year of their vehicle, and
- The vehicle identification number, or VIN.
If a commercial vehicle is involved, make sure to write down the vehicle owner’s name, or the name of the business that owns the vehicle.
Most importantly, never sign anything or agree to a recorded interview until you have consulted with your attorney. They will instruct you on what steps to take next.