How to Document a Car Crash in Preparation for a Lawsuit
If you have been involved in a car crash that was not your fault and you plan to file a lawsuit against the other driver, it is important that you start to gather evidence for your case as soon as you are able. If you wait too long to start gathering documentation of the accident, some of the evidence may be lost or destroyed, making it harder for you to win at trial or receive a settlement offer that you deserve. Here are a few tips for how to document a car crash in preparation for a lawsuit:
- Get the names of witnesses: If you are able after a crash, get the names of any people who saw the accident. Make sure to get their contact information, preferably a phone number and address. Often these witnesses will be identified in a police report, but it never hurts to make your own record. Being able to identify and locate witnesses could be a very important part of making your case at trial.
- Take pictures: Again, if you are able, take pictures of the crash. Make sure that you are being safe, staying out of traffic, and that you prioritize getting any medical care that you need and helping others who may have been injured in the crash. Listen to a police officer’s instructions, and be mindful that other people involved in the accident may not want their photograph taken. After the incident, if you still have your car, take photos of the damage, and consider photographing any injury to your body, such as cuts and bruises.
- Get a copy of reports: Request a copy of the police report and any report made by your insurance company. Though these documents are relatively easy to obtain later in the case, getting them soon after the incident can help you evaluate your claim by reading how an objective party recorded the crash. You may also be able to correct any errors that you see in your insurance record.
- Keep your records: Keep copies of the records you have regarding the crash including towing records, records from a salvage yard or repair shop, and estimates and receipts for repair. If you suffered physical injury during the crash, keep records from you doctor visits, including bills and referrals to other providers for physical therapy or rehabilitation services. Also, make sure that you keep pharmacy records, copies of your prescriptions, and related bills. While the previous three types of information discussed are important for proving that the accident was not your fault, information in step four will be important for proving how much money you are owned in the event of a lawsuit
Along with documenting the car crash, it is also important to considering hiring an automobile accident lawyer Naperville, IL trusts early in the life of your case. A qualified and competent attorney can give you advice for how to document the crash, can help you gather records, and can help you strategize regarding how to pursue your claim against the other driver. An attorney can also negotiate a settlement on your behalf, and, if necessary, will be prepared to take your case all the way to trial to reach a fair result for your claim.
Thank you to our friends and contributors at The Law Offices of Konrad Sherinian for their knowledge about car accidents and injuries.