Experiencing a car crash can be a distressing event. Amid the chaos, it’s crucial to gather evidence after a car accident for any ensuing insurance claims or legal proceedings.
What to Do After a Wreck
Here are the key steps you need to take after a car accident in Fort Lauderdale.
1. Prioritize Safety
The immediate aftermath of an accident should focus on safety. Check for injuries and call for medical assistance if needed. If it is possible and safe, move vehicles out of the flow of traffic to prevent further accidents.
2. Notify Law Enforcement
Contacting the police is essential, regardless of the accident’s severity. An official police report can be a valuable piece of evidence for your claim.
3. Thoroughly Document the Scene
Photograph the accident scene from various angles, capturing the damage to all vehicles, any road debris or skid marks, and the overall layout of the accident scene. Note the weather conditions, time of day, and any other circumstances that could have contributed to the accident.
4. Gather Information from All Parties
Exchange information with all drivers involved. This includes names, contact details, insurance information, and vehicle specifics (make, model, license plate number). If there are witnesses, their accounts can be invaluable, so try to obtain their contact details as well.
5. Seek Immediate Medical Attention
Even if you feel fine, some injuries may not manifest immediately after an accident. Seek medical attention to rule out any hidden injuries. A medical record of your injuries is crucial for your claim.
6. Maintain a Detailed Record
Keep a comprehensive record of everything related to the accident. This includes medical expenses, repair costs, lost wages due to missed work, and any other accident-related expenses. Document how the accident has impacted your daily life, as this can be used to claim for pain and suffering.
7. Call a Lawyer
You should reach out to a Fort Lauderdale car accident lawyer as soon as possible. They can guide you through the legal process and help ensure you’ve gathered all necessary evidence.
8. Preserve Evidence
Preserving evidence after a car crash is just as important as collecting it. Store physical items in a safe place, keep digital photos and documents backed up, and maintain a file of all paperwork related to the accident. If your vehicle needs repairs, take detailed photos of the damage before and after the repair work.
Important Evidence After a Car Accident
The following evidence should be collected and preserved as soon as possible after the car accident.
Photographs are one of the most powerful pieces of evidence you can gather. They provide a visual record of the accident and can help establish what happened. Be sure to take photos of:
- The vehicles involved: Capture the damage from multiple angles. Include close-ups and wide shots to show the overall context.
- The accident scene: This includes road signs, traffic lights, road conditions, skid marks, debris, etc.
- Injuries: If there are visible injuries, photograph them. However, always prioritize getting medical attention over taking photos.
2. Witness Statements
Witnesses can provide an unbiased account of the accident. If there are any witnesses:
- Get their contact information: Name, phone number, and email address.
- Ask them what they saw: Record their account of the accident. If possible, have them write down their statement.
3. Police Report
If the police attend the scene of the accident, they will create a report. This report can be crucial evidence as it contains the officer’s observations and any citations issued. Be sure to request a copy of the report. You can usually do this through the local police department.
4. Medical Records
If you’re injured in the accident, your medical records can serve as evidence. They can help establish the extent of your injuries and the treatment required. Remember to keep all medical records and bills. This includes ambulance rides, hospital stays, physical therapy, etc.
5. Dashcam Footage
If you have a dashcam installed in your car, the footage can serve as valuable evidence. It can show exactly what happened in the moments leading up to the accident.
6. Personal Account
Your personal account of the accident is also important. As soon as possible, write down everything you remember about the accident, including:
- The sequence of events: What happened before, during, and after the accident?
- Your injuries: Any pain or discomfort you felt, and how your injuries have affected your daily life.
Call Our Fort Lauderdale Accident Lawyers Today!
It’s worth taking the time to gather and preserve as much evidence after a car crash as possible. The more comprehensive your evidence, the stronger your claim or case will be.