When you’re involved in a car accident, it’s understandable that your first thoughts are not about preserving evidence for a future legal claim. Especially if you believe the other driver was clearly at fault, protecting your rights soon after a crash may not enter your mind. However, it’s important to retain as much evidence as possible after the accident. The at-fault driver and his insurance company may try to deflect blame and shift liability to you. To ensure that you’re protected and able to obtain all the compensation you deserve, there are some key pieces of evidence that should be retained.
The Evidence Victims Need to Support an Injury Claim
In general, accident victims should try to obtain any type of evidence that can help paint a clear picture of what happened when the accident occurred. The more evidence, the stronger the victim’s legal claim will be. Some common, helpful items include:
If possible, take photos of everything related to the accident scene. This can include the vehicles, the street or intersection, surrounding areas, and any signage or lighting near the road. If the other driver appears impaired, it may be useful to take a photo or video of his behavior, but only do so with extreme caution. Do not put yourself or anyone else in further jeopardy by agitating an impaired person.
Ask anyone who may have witnessed the accident for his name and contact information. Witnesses can be contacted later to support your claim or provide further details.
Police reports are public record, and accident victims can obtain a copy. While it may not be admissible as evidence, the police report can be understood as an unbiased description of the circumstances of the accident, including the police officer’s perspective about who was at fault for the crash.
Property Damage Records
Keep all receipts and appraisals related to any damage that was done to your property in the accident. This can include both your vehicle and any other items inside the car at the time of the crash.
Medical Records and Bills
It’s important to maintain a file that contains all your paperwork from medical appointments related to the accident, including those from hospital stays, office visits, rehabilitation appointments, and medications.
While a personal journal isn’t considered legal evidence, it can serve an important purpose. Write down what you remember about the accident, and track the progress of your recovery. Over time, memories can fade, and details can be lost. A journal can help victims provide specific and timely information when asked.
Have You Been Injured In A Charleston South Carolina Area Car Accident?
If you've been injured in a car accident you should speak with a car accident lawyer as soon as possible. Contact us online or call our Charleston, South Carolina office directly at 843.488.2359 to schedule your consultation. We are also able to meet clients at our Conway, Myrtle Beach, Murrells Inlet, Mt. Pleasant, North Myrtle Beach or North Charleston office locations.