We all know that auto accidents can lead to heightened emotions, anxiety, and yes, injuries. All of these possible results tend to prevent an accident victim from gathering valuable information from the scene of an accident. By “information,” we mean critical facts and evidence that may help a victim build a better personal injury claim. Let’s take a moment below to provide three simple tips to help ensure you preserve the information you need following an accident.
Before jumping to the tips, please note that if you’ve suffered injuries as the result of an automobile collision, the most important thing to do is seek medical assistance. This critical step goes unwavering. No matter even if you might contemplate bringing a personal injury claim immediately following an accident, your health and safety comes first.
Tip #1 – Return to the Accident Scene
An accident victim should try to return to the scene of his accident as soon as possible after the event took place. As stated above, safety and a sense of calmness should come first. However, after both have been ensured/restored, accident victims should re-visit their accident scenes. Why?
The main reason is to gather evidence as to what may have caused the accident. Victims are often surprised to learn of new facts (e.g., a traffic light that wasn’t working) that may have been a contributing factor to their injuries after re-visiting a scene. To help assist in gathering evidence, victims should return to their accident scenes with a camera.
It’s important for a victim to photograph anything that he believes could have caused the accident. Some things to consider when taking photos include: weather conditions (e.g., icy or wet road surfaces), traffic signs, and traffic levels. Victims should also try to take photos from a variety of different angles.
Tip #2 – Seek Out Witnesses
Witnesses can prove invaluable when building a personal injury claim following an automobile accident. Witnesses can help describe: the events leading up to an accident, how an accident occurred, and what took place immediately following a collision. Witnesses may be able to support a victim’s version of events; or, they may be able to indicate how another driver was at-fault.
Gathering witnesses is another important reason why a victim should return to an accident scene. When a scene is re-visited, a victim may find someone who saw what took place. Further, a victim may discover someone who lives near the scene that knows of other accidents that occurred at the same location in the past.
Tip #3 – Document Injuries
If a person has suffered injuries following an auto collision, that person should take steps to ensure that all injuries are sufficiently documented. Granted, if a collision victim receives medical treatment from a hospital or medical provider, his injuries should be well documented within medical records. However, injuries should also be promptly recorded via photographs. Pictures should be taken of bruises, cuts, swollen limbs or areas of the body, and any devices (e.g., splints, casts, and braces) that may have been used in the course of medical treatment.
Paint a Picture of the Accident
Personal injury claims following an automobile accident will likely involve claim adjusters and attorneys. Unfortunately, these individuals will not have been present when an accident took place. Granted, they might have access to a police report that provides background information and facts concerning how an accident occurred. But, they will likely be missing other pertinent accident details.
If available, further evidence and information of an accident should be gathered to help paint a better picture for adjusters and attorneys. Obtaining photographs, witnesses and documenting injuries will help fill in any possible blanks within a personal injury claim. Holes in a claim may lead to unsuccessful claim negotiations or reduced settlements. Simply follow the above tips to help ensure your claim is as solid and strong as possible.
If you’ve been injured as the result of an automobile accident, please contact Phillips Law Firm for assistance. Our talented team of personal injury attorneys can answer your questions and help better build your personal injury claim. Simply contact them today and let them help!