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Car insurance companies will go to great lengths to deny claims or at least to reduce the amount of compensation they have to pay out. If you want to avoid unnecessary disputes and delays, you will need strong evidence to prove liability and damages. Gathering this evidence starts at the scene of the wreck.
Evidence that may contribute to the strength of your car accident claim includes:
This report should include details about where, when, and how the crash happened, as well as who was involved. It should also describe any injuries and property damage, and it may contain statements from other drivers and eyewitnesses. When officers arrive at the scene, be sure to write down their names, phone numbers and badge numbers, and bring that information to your initial consultation with an attorney.
Pictures of property damage, debris on the road, and the positions of vehicles can help an accident reconstruction expert piece together what happened just prior to the crash. The deposition of such an expert might contribute to the strength of your case. Also, photos can be used to prove the severity of your injuries and to demonstrate that the wreck caused them.
Write down the full names, addresses, contact information, and insurance details of everyone involved in the crash. You should also bring any relevant insurance policies of your own to your legal consultation, such as your uninsured/underinsured motorist policy and collision coverage, if you purchased such policies.
If a dispute arises regarding fault, eyewitnesses may be deposed to prove negligence and liability.
If you do not require emergency medical attention, look around for surveillance cameras that might have recorded the crash. Ask to view the footage, and record it with your cellphone. If the owner of the footage refuses to comply, write down their name, phone number, and address. Your attorney may choose to file a subpoena to obtain surveillance footage that is being withheld.
Once you leave the scene, your first stop should be a hospital or clinic. The sooner you visit a doctor for a medical evaluation, the less likely the opposing party may be to argue that you have failed to mitigate your damages. Also, your medical records can help your lawyer prove causation, the types of injuries you have suffered, their severity, and the cost of necessary medical care.
If the injuries have put you out of work or affected your income-earning capacity, you may be able to include lost wages in the settlement calculations. To prove these damages, you will need financial documentation such as income tax returns, paystubs, 1099s, contracts, etc.
Any reasonable and necessary expenses you have incurred as a result of the accident might be recoverable. Keep any receipts and invoices for domestic help, transportation to medical appointments, child care, and other costs stemming from your injuries.
Start a personal injury journal in which you write daily entries about your symptoms, their severity and frequency, and the side effects of any drugs you have been prescribed. Also, record details about how the injuries are affecting your wellbeing and the lives of your family members.
There are many other kinds of evidence your attorney may use to strengthen your claim, much of which may be time sensitive. As such, you should speak with a car accident lawyer right away so the investigation can begin immediately.
The attorneys at Hodge & Langley Law Firm have over 50 years of combined experience representing car wreck victims and their families. We can take over the logistics of your case, help you avoid unnecessary disputes, and fight for the highest recovery, settlement, and/or verdict possible. To set up a free consultation, call 864-585-3873 or send us a message.
Submission of information in this contact form does not establish an attorney-client relationship. In order to establish such a relationship with our firm we require a direct meeting with the attorney.