Building a convincing case for a car accident claim is founded on several principles. These include promptitude, persistence, and meticulousness. Start gathering information about the event as soon as possible. You can use your mobile phone to photograph and film the scene. These recordings will serve as crucial evidence in your case.
Also, contact the police to report the incident and seek out medical care. Make sure to keep any paper trail to help determine a fair amount for the compensation. Of course, before following any of the steps outlined below, you need to be safe and in a stable condition.
Document the Scene of the Car Accident
The scene of the traffic collision is an important source of information. Rely on a variety of mediums to accurately document the effects of the incident. The main areas you should cover are:
- Damage done to the cars involved in the collision.
- Your injuries.
- Property damage.
- Road conditions.
- Weather conditions.
You can use your phone to photograph and film the immediate surroundings of the crash. Start with damages to your car. If the other driver allows it, you can also snap a few photographs of their vehicle.
Road conditions can be an essential factor in attributing liability. If the road was slippery due to unfavorable weather, this might be considered a contributing factor to the incident. Weather conditions should transpire from the photographs taken at the scene and even more so from videos. However, it can help to access your weather report app and take a screenshot.
While documenting property damage caused by the collision, also look for skid marks. These can help determine the cause of the accident and who is responsible. When taking photos, it is important to include a reference point to represent the context. For example, in the case of the skid marks, include a landmark. This will help pinpoint the location of the marks and also their direction.
Identify All Drivers Involved in the Crash
Try to check if the other driver is safe and in a stable condition. After such a traumatic event, spirits may be heated, and a civilized discussion might not always prove feasible. If that is the case, try not to engage and maintain your calm. Try to get their contact information, if they are willing to offer it.
Also, write down the license plate of the cars involved in the crash. If you missed this, take note of any other information that could help identify the driver. Consider the car’s characteristics: color, model, any specific features that might help set it apart from other similar vehicles.
Report the Accident to the Police
Contact the police to report the crash. This is a fundamental step in proceedings after a traffic accident. A dispatch unit will arrive at the scene to document the event and write an official report. Make sure to keep a copy of this document and include it in your case file, as it will serve as crucial evidence.
Remember that it is their job to ask questions and try to determine the course of events. Answer their questions truthfully and objectively. Try to avoid passing judgment or blame. For one, you only know part of the event, so your conclusion can be biased. Also, any official statements to the police at this point can come back later to damage your lawsuit.
Once you have contacted the police, make sure to report the incident to your insurance company as well. If you do not wish to deal with their procedural requirements, you may ask the lawyer who represents you to mediate relations.
Survey the scene of the accident and try to identify if there were any witnesses. Approach people and ask about their account of the events. Try to get their contact information so they may be addressed during the legal proceedings, if needed. Many people may be hesitant to become involved, so it is better to approach as many individuals as you can.
Seek Medical Care
Even if you feel alright after the accident, it is crucial to seek medical attention. Due to the adrenaline surge released during traumatic events, pain is often numbed for the moment. Also, certain car accident injuries have a delayed onset.
Furthermore, a doctor’s official assessment of your physical health is one of the foundation stones of a solid car accident case. That is why the consultation needs to be as close to the time of the accident as possible.
Traffic accidents are a traumatic event that may affect not only the body but the mind as well. Some of the more severe psychological reactions include PTSD, which warrants ongoing mental health care. We warmly advise you to care about your inner well-being as much as your physical health and schedule a consultation with a trained therapist.
Collect All the Documents
Collect all documents relating to your physical and mental health and also the damage sustained by the car. Make sure to keep a copy of these, even after you submit your case file to the court. You should pay special attention to the following paperwork:
- Doctors’ assessment.
- Medical tests and analysis.
- Medical bills and receipts.
- Treatment plans.
- Therapist’s letter detailing their professional assessment of your condition.
- Bills from the mechanic for fixing your car.
Once you have gathered all the documents, forward these to your Los Angeles car accident attorney. They can further advise you on what else to include to maximize your chances of receiving fair compensation.
The main aspect to consider in building a convincing case for a car accident claim is time. Preservation of evidence is crucial, and it is a time-sensitive matter. To make sure that no proof is lost, act as soon as your physical and mental state allows you. Also, it is essential to have expert legal counsel, so do not hesitate to contact a qualified attorney.