Getting into a car accident is a traumatic and complicated situation. However, dealing with the aftermath can be even worse. After you go through a traumatic event, it can be hard to collect your thoughts just moments after and act carefully and responsibly. But in the moments after a crash, that is exactly what you need to do.
The first and main thing is that you need to check for injuries. After you do that, you need to start thinking about what evidence you need to collect in order to prove that you weren’t the guilty party. Here is how you will do that.
Take Pictures of the Scene of the Crash
Having evidence in the form of pictures of the scene of the crash can be a determining factor in the court of law. The specialists behind Olson Law Firm point out that some states have an “at fault” system. There needs to be hard evidence about who was at fault for the crash. Take photos of the road, the surroundings, both cars, and the injuries from multiple angles. By doing this, it will be easier to determine what exactly happened. It would also help to avoid he-said-she-said, which can be crucial for winning the case.
Exchange Contact Information With the Other Driver
If you determine that you feel safe and well enough to exit the vehicle, go to the passengers of the other vehicle and check if they’re okay. Be careful and watch what you are saying because even the most innocent pleasantries, like apologizing, could be interpreted as an admission of guilt. Ask for their vital information, like driver’s name, phone number, license plates, and insurance data. If they decline to give you their information, try to at least catch the license plates and immediately contact your attorney.
Try to Talk to Witnesses
Take notice of the presence of witnesses and ask for their information. Witness testimonies can be valuable for your case because they are an impartial third party. Talk to them and try to find out what exactly happened. Like when you are talking to the passengers of the other car, try not to say anything that can make you seem like the crash was your fault. Police will also take their statement, so it may be a good idea to ask for a copy.
Obtain a Copy of the Police Report
After you check if everyone is alright, call emergency services immediately. Police will conduct the research on the scene of the crime. You should also call an ambulance because some injuries can be dangerous if they go unnoticed. Take pictures before the police come and try not to disturb the scene in any way. If you feel unsafe or you don’t want to block the road, carefully move your car off the road or drive to the nearest police station. Ask for a copy of the police report to present it as evidence.
Collect Medical Records
Take notice even if you feel the smallest pain. Either call an ambulance or go to your doctor for a check-up. Collect all the medical records and make copies. Make copies of your therapy records, pharmacy prescriptions, doctor’s statement, hospital admittance papers, and everything else you get. You should record every step of the medical care you get. Depending on where you got the medical treatment, sometimes you will have to wait for a few days or weeks to get all the records, but be patient and try to collect all of them.
Try to Spot If There Are Security Cameras Nearby
If the crash happened in the middle of a town or near a gas station, there is probably video footage of it. Take notice of your surroundings and try to spot security cameras that could have caught the crash. You will probably be unable to obtain it, but the police, your lawyer, or the insurance company will. Mention it to any of these services if you spotted it. Additional evidence like this can help you build a bulletproof case.
Speak to Your Attorney
When you collect all this evidence, present it to your attorney. They will know if it is all you need, or if you missed something. They will also help you obtain additional evidence that you, as a civilian, would otherwise not be able to obtain. If you don’t have an attorney, conduct your research online, or ask around for someone experienced that specializes in cases like yours. Be completely honest and transparent with them.
As you can see, there is a lot to be done after a car crash. It is crucial to collect all of the evidence in order to build the strongest case possible. Be thorough and don’t leave anything to chance. Try to stay as calm as possible. Hire a professional attorney who will help you through the whole process.