Securing Key Evidence in Personal Injury Cases
It is imperative to move swiftly to secure evidence and locate witnesses that can bolster your claim with the insurance provider.
The period immediately following an accident is crucial for collecting and safeguarding evidence that reflects what transpired and for documenting any injuries sustained. As soon as you're able, take these essential steps:Revisiting the Accident Scene
Should the incident have occurred away from your home, it is vital to return to the scene promptly to look for evidence and to capture images of any potential causes or contributing factors to the accident. Surprisingly, you might discover overlooked details that elucidate the event, such as a hidden defect that tripped you or a malfunctioning street signal. In the process, you could also encounter witnesses to the incident who might have significant insights or knowledge of previous accidents in the same location.
Photograph the scene from various perspectives, especially from your vantage point at the time of the mishap, to cement the scene in your memory and to display your readiness to secure a fair settlement from the insurance company. Capture these photos at the same time of day the accident happened, and if applicable, during similar traffic conditions.Preserving Tangible Evidence
Often, the responsibility for an accident can be discerned through tangible evidence—something observable and palpable, not just verbal accounts. Typical examples include a damaged staircase that caused a tumble, an indentation on a vehicle marking the impact area, or an obstructive tree limb on a cycling trail.
Moreover, physical evidence can authenticate the severity of an injury. Vehicle damage can attest to the force of impact, and clothing that is ripped or stained with blood powerfully exhibits bodily harm. Endeavor to maintain any physical evidence in its post-accident state. If preserving the item is not feasible, ensure you photograph it. These pieces of evidence can later serve as compelling testimony to the insurance company.
Consider these guidelines for capturing photographs that preserve evidence:
- Opt for standard photographs over instant photos, as they typically provide better clarity and more truthful depiction of lighting.
- Take multiple photos from various angles to provide a selection that best emphasizes what you need to demonstrate to the insurance company.
- Snap the photos as promptly as possible to accurately reflect the immediate aftermath of the accident.
- To confirm the date when the photos were taken, have a friend oversee the process and pen a brief note verifying the date of the session. Additionally, get the photos developed promptly and ensure the development shop marks the date on the back of the prints or on the receipt.
A witness to an accident can significantly strengthen your claim before an insurance company. Witnesses might provide testimonies that align with your account or offer new information indicating the fault lies elsewhere. Even those who didn't directly see the accident may confirm your subsequent signs of distress or overhear critical comments from others involved.
Nevertheless, acting fast is paramount. Delaying witness outreach can result in lost or unreliable testimonies. As time passes, memories fade, and witnesses may relocate.Documenting Your Injuries
To best document your injuries, report them at once to a medical professional and photograph any visible bruises, scars, or swelling, including medical fixtures like casts or bandages.
Failing to create an immediate medical record of your injuries, supplemented with photos when possible, complicates the process of convincing an insurance company about the nature and extent of your injuries. Visible injuries will heal over time, and not seeking prompt treatment could suggest to insurers that your injuries were either minor or not as severe as claimed.
At Lebowitz & Mzhen Personal Injury Lawyers, we understand the challenges you face following an accident. Contact us at (800) 654-1949 for a Free Consultation, and let us guide you through the process of preserving essential evidence for your personal injury claim.