Anybody who has been hurt in a car accident that was not their fault will want to take action to ensure they are not stuck paying for the fallout, whether it takes the form of car repairs or medical expenses. However, you will have to build a compelling case before you can begin recovery. Collecting and preserving evidence from a crash is critical in ensuring that your personal injury complaint sees success.
Why You Need Evidence After a Car Accident
If you were hurt in a car accident, you might think your injury speaks for itself. However, car insurance companies see things differently. Even if the crash was not your fault, they still want to preserve their profits and will do whatever it takes to keep your settlement amount as low as possible. Since insurance companies have their own lawyers and legal teams, you will need to prepare yourself for their arguments. To do so, and to do so successfully, you will have to show the insurer—or a court—that:
- You were not at fault for the accident
- Your version of the story is the correct one
- You sustained real, verifiable injuries
- Your claims for damages, economic or non-economic, were calculated fairly
You can substantiate your claims only through evidence.
Important Types of Evidence After a Car Crash
When you are fighting for your recovery, you will need to present evidence substantiating your story. This evidence can include:
- Photographs. Pictures of the accident and its effects, including damage to your car, damage to the other motorist’s car, torn clothes, and injuries, will be vital. If weather conditions or traffic signage contributed to the crash, you might wish to document this, too.
- Medical records. To document your injuries, you will need a physician’s diagnosis, references to physical rehabilitation, and hospital bills. Remember: you should always see a doctor after a car crash, even if you do not think you were hurt.
- Repair bills. These can detail the extent and type of damage your vehicle suffered.
- Eyewitness testimony. Statements from other motorists or passers-by will be key.
- Computer data. Newer-model vehicles collect data on computer chips. A car or motorcycle’s computer can show crucial information about a vehicle’s operation prior to a crash. This evidence can be used to show another driver’s fault or to back your claim that you were unable to avoid a collision—or both.
Other types of evidence can be very valuable, too. Take video footage, for instance. Even if you do not have a dashcam, you may still be able to obtain footage of the accident. A personal injury attorney can, for instance, help you collect or subpoena surveillance tapes from nearby businesses, law enforcement, or traffic equipment.