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How To Document A Car Accident To Help Win Your Personal Injury Case

How To Document A Car Accident To Help Win Your Personal Injury Case

If you were in an Inland Empire car accident, you could be overwhelmed with devastating injuries, medical bills, and pain and suffering that make it impossible to work or do much of anything. If another party caused the accident, California law allows you to file for damages in a personal injury lawsuit.

To win your case, you will need substantial evidence to prove liability, so documenting the car accident, as explained below, is critical. If you have legal questions, our Inland Empire auto accident lawyer at Law Office of Joseph Richards, P.C. may be able to answer them and offer legal counsel.

Why Document The Car Accident?

If you are physically able after a car accident, it is beneficial to take specific steps to document the accident scene. The at-fault driver will be required to pay damages, and if fault is in dispute, the insurance company could deny your claim. Therefore, you can help your claim or lawsuit by taking the following actions after the accident:

Take Photos And Videos

You are allowed to take pictures and videos after a car accident. It is impossible to take too many images of a crash scene. You might need clarification on what is essential, so if you are in doubt, take a photo or video. Something that may seem irrelevant to you could be the critical evidence to prove liability. Some things to get visual evidence of include:

  • Damage to your car
  • Damage to other cars
  • Damage to objects or buildings
  • Other car accident evidence
  • Relevant signs and traffic lights
  • Other drivers, passengers, and witnesses
  • The general accident scene
  • Car information and license plates

When you meet with your car accident attorney, turn over all pictures and video you recorded. This visual information could be critical to proving your case and obtaining compensation.

Gather Witness Information

In many car accidents, both drivers claim the other party caused it. Liability can frequently be proven by obtaining witness statements. However, many witnesses may only stay at the scene for a short time, so if you can, seek them out and obtain their contact information. Also, get their version of events on video if possible. Their memory could fade quickly, so the sooner you get their story, the better. The witness could be credible for your case if they:

  • Do not know anyone in the accident
  • Saw the entire car accident
  • Were not distracted by a cell phone or anything else
  • Seem to have good vision and hearing
  • Seem trustworthy and believable

Write Down All Drivers’ Contact Information

It is critical to note the contact information for every driver involved in the accident. Information that you should obtain is their full name, email, phone number, address, license plate number, and insurance policy number. If the other party is at fault, their insurance company will likely need to pay for your damages.

Take Injury Photos

Once you and anyone in the accident are safe, photograph any injuries you have. The photos do not have to be at the crash scene but take them as soon as possible. Take distance and up-close photos, and you also should take them a few days after the accident. It may take time for bruising and swelling to appear.

Also, note if you have symptoms that cannot be seen, such as fatigue, headaches, pain, change of mood, abdominal or chest pain, etc. Any of these signs should be taken as seriously as visible injuries.

Keep Accident-Related Documentation

If you want to receive thousands for your medical bills and other out-of-pocket expenses, the insurance company will want proof. So, a critical part of accident documentation is keeping track of every bill, receipt, or other financial document related to your accident expenses. Some of the documents you should keep in a folder are:

  • Medical bills and receipts
  • Letters from the insurance company
  • Paystubs to determine lost wages
  • Towing receipts
  • Car repair estimates
  • Taxi and rental car fees
  • Bills for property that must be replaced, such as a computer damaged in the crash
  • Childcare expenses
  • Hotel receipts
  • House cleaning services

Maintain An Accident Journal

Your memory of the incident will fade over time. The longer it is after your auto accident, the more difficult it is to remember details. That is why you should have an auto accident journal.

The journal is a way to write down or video your thoughts and observations after the crash. Talking about any pain, discomfort, or limits to your life and activities after the crash can help your attorney argue for sufficient compensation for your ordeal. You also should record every memory you have of the accident, how it happened, weather conditions, and other details. This information should be given to your attorney to increase the chances of a substantial settlement or jury award.

Report The Auto Accident To The Police

It is essential to document your car accident to win your case properly. Also, remember that California drivers are required to pull over at the crash scene after any accident. They also must perform the following:

  • Must move their cars off the highway or street after the accident if there are no injuries or deaths.
  • Must pull over if they injure or kill animals.
  • Must attempt to find the owner if they crash into a parked car. Or, they need to leave a note with their contact information. The accident must be reported to the police or state highway patrol.
  • Must report a crash in writing to law enforcement if anyone is injured or killed and the police do not show up.
  • Must complete a Report of Traffic Accident Occurring in California and turn it into the DMV within 10 days of the crash if there was an injury, death, or more than $1,000 in property damages.

Speak To Our Inland Empire Auto Accident Lawyer Today

At Law Office of Joseph Richards, P.C. our skilled personal injury attorneys have the skills, expertise, and experience to fight for the most compensation for a client’s car accident injuries. To have your case reviewed at no charge, call our Inland Empire auto accident lawyer today at (888) 883-6588. Attorney Richards of is highly experienced in personal injury litigation and has been rated by Super Lawyers for several years.