Car accident injury claims can be difficult to litigate successfully without proper evidence gathering. Read on to learn more about important evidence for your car accident claim. Important Evidence for an Accident Claim If you have been injured in a car accident, then you may have a claim against one or more defendants for which you can recover damages as compensation. Of course, successfully litigating a personal injury claim requires evidence. Skilled attorneys will have the know how and experience to know where, when, and how to effectively investigate and gather evidence for a potential lawsuit. As a plaintiff, however, it helps if you’re informed, too. Informed plaintiffs better ensure that no relevant evidence becomes lost, damaged, or is otherwise rendered improper. It’s quite simple, really: the more evidence you can bring to bear to support your assertions, the more likely you are to succeed in your lawsuit. So, what type of evidence is critical to a car accident lawsuit? Consider the following.
Do not junk, sell, or otherwise give up possession of your car before consulting with an attorney and moving forward with the claims process. If you have an injury claim, then the damage your car sustained can be used to help reconstruct the accident and to prove that the impact was as severe as you assert. Further, some car accident lawsuits involve defective vehicle claims and other such issues, in which case the physical evidence of the car itself may be critically useful as evidence of the defect (for example, if your brakes failed due to a manufacturing defect, then you will want to keep possession of your car so that you can use it as evidence of the brakes actually having a problem).
Witness accounts of an accident and the circumstances surrounding an accident can be the difference between a success and a loss. At the scene of the accident, try to identify witnesses and acquire their contact information. If you do not, then all is not lost. Your attorney may be able to identify and secure witnesses through other means (i.e., inquiring into nearby residences and businesses, etc.).
The Police Report
The police report can be a plaintiff’s best friend. At the scene of an accident, the police will write a report that identifies the relevant parties (and related parties), the vehicles, and witnesses. Statements and observations relating to each party may be written into the report as well. In California, police reports generally feature descriptions of the accident and the lead up to the accident, and often feature graphics that depict the accident as it is assumed to have occurred.
Footage of the Accident Scene
Footage of the incident — whether recorded on traffic, security, or personal cameras — can resolve conflicting reports of the accident by each party. In a case where the events of the accident are hotly disputed, video footage can be your “ace in the hole.” If possible at the scene of the accident, engage with witnesses who may have taken footage of the accident. Similarly, make sure to note nearby security and traffic cam locations so that you can speak with the relevant parties later to secure the footage.
Medical records relating to the injuries you sustained — from diagnosis, to treatment, to rehabilitation — are an important piece of the litigation puzzle. Your medical records will demonstrate that you suffered the claimed damages. Though it may not be necessary (depending on the defendant’s strategy and how far along the case is), try to acquire medical record evidence of any pre-existing injuries you have. With this evidence in-hand, your attorney will be better prepared to counter any attempt by the defendant to link pre-existing injuries with the newly suffered injuries. Call West Coast Trial Lawyers at (888) 539-9582 for a free consultation with an experienced Los Angeles accident attorney today.