The right pieces of evidence can help you win your car accident case, so it's important that you work from the beginning to preserve any possible evidence – at least until you have spoken with a lawyer. Of course, it can be easy to overlook some types of evidence if you aren't sure what can be considered in court. The following guide can help you know the most important things to preserve.
Any photos of the immediate aftermath need to be saved. Most of these will need to be taken at the scene of the accident or at the hospital before or after treatment. Try and get pictures of the accident scene before it is cleaned up or vehicles are moved. Also, take photographs of any injuries you sustain. It's best to get these photos before treatment so the full severity is readily apparent.
Video can also help prove fault in an accident. Unless you have a dash camera or a bystander happened to be filming, it can be more difficult to find video, though. Check with the businesses that border the accident site to see if they have outside surveillance. If so, ask to view the tapes to see if the accident was captured. You should do this quickly, as old recordings are often purged on a regular basis.
Make sure you are well aware of the fate of your vehicle after the accident. If it is totaled, verify the impound location and that it will be kept intact until insurance payments and possible lawsuits are finalized. If you receive the vehicle back, do not make any attempts at repair or alterations until your lawyer tells you it is okay to do so. The vehicle is often an important piece of evidence.
Every paper you get in regards to your accident can be used as evidence or to help secure a proper settlement. This includes obvious items, like the police report, as well as receipts for medical services and repairs, repair quotes, and pay slips that indicate lost income. Play it safe and keep anything that is related to the accident or reflects a cost that was incurred because of the accident.
Finally, make sure to collect the names and contact information of any witnesses. This includes any that step forward at the time of the accident, as well as any you find afterward. Asking at homes or businesses that neighbor the accident site may yield witnesses. You may also be able to find witnesses on social media. For example, check to see if your local news site posted about your accident. Sometimes potential witnesses post comments to the coverage.
For more help, talk to an accident attorney as soon as possible following your accident.