Preserve Evidence from Accident Scene
Did you know that the first couple of days after an accident may be crucial in preserving evidence? This includes preserving the evidence of any personal injuries you may have received. We suggest taking the following steps for preserving accident evidence:
Visit the Scene of the Accident
It is important for individuals involved in accidents to go back to the accident scene to find evidence connected with the incident. Take extra precautions to ensure your safety. Take lots of pictures from various angles. Photograph anything that may have been a key factor in the accident. By visiting the location, one may uncover things that contributed to the accident. For example, a pothole or faulty traffic light that contributed to the accident. Also, consider looking for witnesses to the accident that may reside or have businesses located near the scene. They may even be aware of previous accidents that occurred at the same location in the past.
Take the photographs about the same time as the accident happened. For car accident cases, the pictures should be taken on the same day of the week to show the traffic volume during the time of the collision. Cover all your basis by properly preserving accident evidence.
Ideal witnesses can provide a description of the accident in detail. These witnesses may also assert essential information that people involved in an accident may not have noticed. Some witnesses may even provide testimonies on how the person appeared after the accident. Other times, witnesses can reveal details that prove who was at fault for the accident.
Time plays a huge factor in accident cases. It is necessary to get witness statements quickly. As time passes, witnesses may begin to forget some of the details about the accident. This may render their testimony worthless.
Preserving Physical Evidence
Figuring out who was at fault may be less complicated to determine when the physical evidence is promptly preserved. For example, stairs that are broken show why a person fell. A photograph of the broken stairs before they are repaired will help tremendously. In auto accidents, road defects should be photographed right away. Take pictures of dents in a car to show where the vehicle was hit. Photograph protruding tree branches to show that visibility was affected. It is important to photograph the scene before evidence is removed, covered up, repaired, lost, etc.
Physical evidence also forms the extent of the injuries suffered by a party involved in an accident. Damage to a car indicates the force of a collision. Torn and soiled clothes depict the extent of injuries received. Physical evidence should be kept in the same condition as it was at the time of the accident. When this is not possible, photographs should be taken. This way the images can be used as evidence for filing insurance claims.
Seeking Medical Treatment to Preserve Evidence of Injuries
Evidence of an injury can be preserved by seeking prompt medical attention. The physician will begin a medical record of your injury. Be sure to photograph your injuries right away. Images should depict bruises, cuts, and all other physical marks on the body.
A lack of medical records and images showing the injuries may make it more difficult to file a claim with the insurance company. Insurance companies are quick to assume that the injuries were not as serious if the victim did not seek medical attention.
Related Article: Personal Injury Checklist, by Ed Smith.
Elk Grove Personal Injury and Car Accident Lawyer
My name is Ed Smith. I’m an Elk Grove personal injury lawyer and founder of AutoAccident.com. I’ve been helping Elk Grove residents with their car accident and personal injury cases since 1982. If you, or a family member, has been seriously hurt in an accident due to no fault of your own, give me a call at 916-694-0002 for free, friendly advice. Elsewhere, dial me toll free at (800) 404-5400.
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Photograph Attribution: Wikimedia Commons – Images in the Public Domain