If you have recently been injured in a car accident, it is critically important that you do two things after you have been medically stabilized. First, it is important to connect with an attorney as soon as you can. A lawyer can help to ensure that you take every necessary step to protect your rights and preserve your legal options. From filing a police report to negotiating with insurance claims adjusters, having an experienced attorney in your corner is critical at this stressful time.
Second, you’ll want to do all you can to document and swiftly preserve any evidence that could help to strengthen your case in the event that you choose to file insurance claims and/or a lawsuit in the wake of your crash. While an experienced attorney can help you to preserve many kinds of potentially consequential evidence, there are a few things that you can do to expedite the preservation of evidence that you may have access to before you speak with an attorney.
Collecting Evidence at the Scene of the Crash
As an experienced car accident lawyer – including those who practice at The Law Offices of Barry P. Goldberg – can confirm, there is nothing more important than seeking medical attention in the immediate aftermath of an injurious crash. If you are currently at the scene of an accident and are not in a position to gather evidence because you are too hurt, do not worry about gathering evidence. An attorney can do that for you later. Focus on your health now and everything else can wait.
With that said, if you are hurt but you are also in a position to do a few simple things to preserve critical evidence, you can proceed with doing so as long as you are cautious and you listen to your body while you were making this effort. Start by exchanging insurance and contact information with any other motorists involved in the crash. Next, ask any witnesses to the wreck for their contact information as well. You won’t need to reach out to any of these parties or their insurance companies directly. Your attorney can do that for you. However, it is important to gather this contact information and identifying information proactively so that your attorney knows who to call once they have been alerted to your situation.
Next, take pictures and video of the crash scene. Make sure to identify all damage that has been done to the vehicles that were involved, as well as any significant road conditions, weather conditions, and any other influences that may help your attorney to clarify the cause(s) of your crash and any parties that may be held responsible for the harm you’re suffering.
You’ll also want to file a police report. If you haven’t already notified local law enforcement that they need to come to the scene of your crash, do so now. If you are, for any reason, uncomfortable in the presence of law enforcement, connect with a local personal injury attorney who can dispatch someone from their office to assist you at the scene as you communicate with police.