Car Accidents and Evidence Gathering

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Collecting Evidence in California Car Accident Claims

What is “evidence gathering?”

Evidence gathering is the process by which you obtain vital information after being involved in a car accident. Evidence gathering is not a formal process, meaning that there are no specific steps you need to take at a certain time. That being stated, evidence gathering often begins immediately after you leave your vehicle. In more minor accidents, you may be able to get out of your vehicle feeling unharmed. Though The May Firm strongly encourages you to immediately seek medical treatment even if you feel like you have not been hurt. You could also benefit from taking a few minutes (if you can) to exchange contact and insurance information with the other driver. You should note the make, model, and license plate of the other driver’s vehicle. Additionally, take photos of the damage done to your car, the other vehicle and the scene of the accident before you or the other driver move your cars.

Get as much information as possible as soon as you can

In a perfect situation, you would have the opportunity to take photos of the scene shortly after the accident occurs. The position and location of each car (such as if the other driver crossed the double yellow lines and came into your lane) can be very important to a police investigation or a personal injury suit down the line. If possible, take photos before you move your car. Take detailed photos of all of the damage that your vehicle sustained in the accident, as well as the damage to the other driver’s car. If you have visible injuries (such as bruising from your seatbelt, a cut forehead, etc.), take photos if you can – and seek medical attention immediately! Some injuries, like bruises, become more obvious over time so you should regularly take photos following the accident.

Try to speak to anyone who was present at the scene to obtain his or her version of events. The witness may have seen something that you didn’t observe. If the other driver was at fault, a witness can be key in proving the other driver’s negligence.

Evidence gathering after a California car accident is ongoing

The evidence gathering process doesn’t stop when you leave the scene of the accident. Any documentation of medical treatment that you receive after being involved in an auto accident can become critical to prove your injuries. A personal injury attorney might also conduct his or her own investigation to see if he or she can speak with any witnesses for your accident. The evidence gathering process is ongoing throughout a case and information may come out well after you’ve started treatment for your injuries.

Why is evidence important?

If you want to file a personal injury claim against the other driver who caused the accident, you need to be able to prove that the other driver was at fault. You will also want proof that you were not the cause of the accident, and you didn’t contribute to the accident in any way. Unless you have hard evidence to prove the other driver was at fault, it may ultimately be your word against the other driver’s. Other witnesses to the accident, photos, and other tangible forms of evidence can confirm your version of events.

Evidence can also be important in showing your insurance company that you were not the cause of the accident. Insurance companies are notorious for increasing insurance rates if someone is involved in a car accident. The idea is that if you cause an accident, you are a risky investment to insure. Therefore, you’ll want to be able to show them that the other person was at fault so you do not have to pay a higher premium. Of course, you should always speak with a personal injury attorney before contacting your insurance company.

Why The May Firm?

The May Firm is run by experienced personal injury attorneys who know the ins and outs of evidence gathering. We know who to call and what questions to ask in order to obtain the information that we need to win your case.

Disclaimer: Information on this page is designed for general information purposes only and should not be interpreted as being legal advice or a legal opinion on specific facts or circumstances. You should always consult with an attorney before making a decision about your case. Pages are updated periodically but information provided on this page may not be up to date as circumstances may change over time. Please see our [LEGAL DISCLAIMERS] page for additional legal disclaimers.

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