Evidence to Preserve After A Car Accident
If you suffered injuries in a car accident that someone else caused, you have the legal burden of proof in your claim or lawsuit. Therefore, you must demonstrate that someone else behaved unreasonably under the circumstances, such as by violating a law or engaging in distracted driving. Moreover, you must establish that you suffered at least one injury directly from the accident.
Retaining certain pieces of evidence following your car accident increases your chances of successfully satisfying these legal elements and recovering the total amount of monetary compensation you deserve.
In addition to seeking proper medical treatment after your car accident, speak with a knowledgeable car accident lawyer. Your lawyer can review the circumstances of your accident with you and assist you with gathering the necessary evidence to prove the legal elements of your claim. Your lawyer can then work to pursue favourable monetary compensation on your behalf through settlement or litigation in court.
Types of Evidence You Should Always Retain Following a Car Accident
Following a motor vehicle crash, always retain certain documents and other evidence. These documents increase your likelihood of recovering full and fair compensation for your injuries.
Photographs of Your Injuries
First, if you have photographs of the injuries you sustained in your car accident, you should keep those photos, as they may become significant evidence in your car accident lawsuit. Many car accident victims suffer open cuts or lacerations when they strike something in their vehicles such as the headrest, steering wheel, console, dashboard, or door frame at the time of impact.
Moreover, accident victims sometimes suffer bruises from airbag deployment. If you have photographs of these injuries in your possession, you should give them to your lawyer, who can forward them to the insurance company adjuster.
Property Damage Photos
Depending upon the type of accident, your vehicle may have suffered extreme damage from the impact. Photographs of property damage to your vehicle can become a piece of vital evidence in your car accident claim.
Insurance company adjusters and jury members typically equate significant property damage to severe injuries. Therefore, if your property damage photos depict considerable damage, the insurance company or jury may offer you additional money to compensate you for your physical injuries.
Copies of the Police Report
If a police officer responds to the accident scene, they will likely speak with you about what happened. When you talk to the officer, you should insist that they prepare a formal police report. Police reports are essential in car accident cases where insurance companies challenge fault or liability.
Many police reports describe the accident scene, location, and circumstances, then indicate who caused the accident. The report may also show if an officer issued a citation and, if so, what for.
Eyewitness Contact Information
If you can do so at the accident scene, you should speak with any eyewitnesses who come forward. In addition, you should obtain their contact information if your lawyer needs to talk to them later in the process. Eyewitnesses can offer extremely favourable testimony in disputed liability cases.
For example, an eyewitness can testify at a deposition or jury trial about the positions, movements, and speeds of the involved vehicles, leading to a liability decision in your favour.
Medical Treatment Records
Keep copies of your medical treatment records, including the initial emergency room or urgent care visit report. These records become essential when it comes time to establish the causal connection between your claimed injuries and the motor vehicle crash.
In addition, car accident lawyers often use medical records to show that an individual suffered a permanent injury in a car accident. A permanent injury is not expected to improve over time and may cause the accident victim to experience pain and symptoms for the remainder of their life.
Notes and Journal Entries
Sometimes after a car accident, victims keep journal entries about their injuries, medical treatment, pain levels, and symptoms that they experience. These journal entries are often good reminders and can refresh the accident victim’s memory when they answer interrogatories, prepare for their discovery depositions, and prepare for trial or binding arbitration.
Wage Loss Documents
Many accident victims have to miss time from work to recover from their injuries and attend medical appointments. Some victims suffer such severe injuries that they cannot physically perform their work duties.
In either case, an accident victim can recover compensation for their lost earnings. Therefore, they should retain documents concerning the money they lost. This includes copies of the accident victim’s prior income tax returns.
When you meet with your lawyer after your car accident, you should bring all of these documents in your possession with you. Your lawyer can then discuss your accident, injuries, and medical treatment with you and decide on a course of action that best suits the needs of your car accident case.
What are the Most Common Causes of Car Crashes?
Car accidents happen for many reasons, but in most instances, they result from driver negligence.
Sometimes, drivers violate the rules of the road, while at other times, they may operate their vehicle while intoxicated or distracted.
Common causes of traffic accidents include:
- Driving Violations – When drivers violate rules of the road, such as by failing to yield the right-of-way, speeding, and failing to use turn signals, they increase the chances that they will cause a severe traffic accident. Drivers must always follow all driving laws and operate their vehicles carefully and safely. When they breach that duty of care and cause an accident, both they and their insurance companies can be responsible for the subsequent injuries that accident victims suffer.
- Intoxicated Driving – Similarly, car operators must refrain from driving when they are under the influence of drugs or alcohol. A driver is legally drunk when a Breathalyzer test determines they have a blood alcohol concentration (BAC) of 0.08 percent or more. Commercial truck drivers and other professional drivers must follow stricter standards of care. A zero-tolerance policy exists for drivers who are under 21 years of age. However, even a driver with a BAC below the legal limit might still exhibit alcohol impairment. They might experience blurred vision, an inability to concentrate, and delayed reaction time. Consequently, an intoxicated driver might be unable to stop their vehicle in time to avoid a crash with another vehicle or a pedestrian.
- Road Rage – Drivers exhibit road rage when they overreact to an actual or perceived set of circumstances on the road. For example, an enraged driver may become frustrated when another driver moves too slowly. Drivers who exhibit road rage often lose control, tailgating the vehicles in front of them and zealously weaving in and out of heavy traffic without using their turn signals. As a result, an enraged driver can bring about a high-speed collision which leads to severe injuries for everyone involved.
- Distracted Driving – A distracted driver ignores the road. For example, drivers might become distracted when they listen to loud music in their vehicle, program a GPS device, or send a text message while driving. Other individuals in the vehicle may distract a driver. When a driver diverts their attention away from the road, even for a moment or two, they might fail to see an oncoming vehicle or pedestrian in the vicinity, causing a crash that leads to injuries.
You have legal rights if you suffered injuries in a car accident resulting from another person or entity’s negligence. A car accident lawyer can help you assert those rights and obtain the monetary recovery you deserve for your injuries.
The MNH Injury Team Gets Results
We get you the results you need and provide legal advice through the whole court process. Don’t be unprepared when you could have one of the best legal teams out there to assist you. Reach out to us today to get your consultation.
Common Injuries that Car Accident Victims Suffer
Car accident victims often suffer serious injuries, depending upon the force of the impact and how their body moves in the vehicle. The power of an impact might cause an accident victim’s body to lurch abruptly frontwards and backward or from side to side, resulting in a severe injury. Also, at the time of impact, the accident victim’s body might strike something in their vehicle and injure them.
Typical car accident injuries that victims sustain include broken bones, internal organ damage, soft tissue injuries, traumatic head injuries, spinal cord injuries, paralysis, and death.
To recover monetary compensation for accident-related injuries, you need to establish the legal elements of your claim. In addition to proving that the accident resulted from someone else’s negligence, you must demonstrate that your injuries directly resulted from the accident.
To confirm this element, a healthcare provider must state in writing or testify in court to a reasonable degree of medical probability that your injuries directly resulted from the accident. A healthcare provider can also establish that you suffered a permanent injury that is unlikely to improve over time. An accident victim who suffers a permanent injury may experience pain and other symptoms for the remainder of their life.
A knowledgeable car accident lawyer can help you prove the legal elements of your car accident claim or lawsuit and retain the necessary experts for your case.
Recovering Monetary Compensation and Damages
When car accident victims establish the legal elements of their claim, they can recover various damages. The damages that an accident victim will recover vary significantly from case to case. The amounts and types of recoverable damages will depend upon the seriousness of the accident victim’s injuries, the extent of their medical treatment, and the pain and suffering they endured.
Depending on the circumstances, accident victims can recover monetary compensation for their inconvenience, pain, suffering, lost wages, loss of earning capacity, loss of the ability to use a body part, loss of life enjoyment, and loss of spousal consortium and companionship.
Your lawyer will zealously advocate on your behalf to negotiate a favourable settlement with the at-fault person’s insurance company. If the insurance company refuses to compensate you adequately, your lawyer can promptly file a lawsuit on your behalf and litigate your case to an efficient conclusion.
Call a Knowledgeable Car Accident Lawyer Today
You might have many questions and concerns if you suffered injuries in a car accident. A lawyer can answer them and handle the legal work for you so you can focus on recovering from your injuries.
A knowledgeable car accident lawyer can answer all those questions and help you develop a detailed plan for moving your case forward. In addition to investigating your accident circumstances, a skilled car accident lawyer can file a claim with the appropriate insurance company and, if necessary, litigate it to the best possible conclusion.
Your lawyer will work hard to help you recover the maximum amount of damages you deserve for your accident-related injuries, so do not delay seeking a free consultation.