Evidence Gathering at the Scene of an Accident

September 9, 2015
Evidence Gathering at the Scene of an Accident The key to proving negligence in your personal injury claim arising from an auto accident is evidence.[1] Quality and effective evidence can help you receive the full amount of compensation you deserve for your losses. Evidence can be gathered as soon as a collision occurs and the following are only some types of evidence and some ways to gather evidence from the scene of a serious car accident. What evidence can you gather yourself? If you are in good enough physical condition to remain at the scene of the accident, there are many steps you can take to gather evidence that may be extremely helpful in a subsequent legal case. The following are some examples of steps you can take at the scene:
  • Collect the contact information of anyone involved in the accident, as well as license plates or other identifying information on the vehicle (such as business name and number if it is a commercial vehicle).
  • Collect the contact information of any witnesses who saw what happened.
  • Talk to the police and give your version of events—without admitting fault on your part—so that your version can make it into the police report.
  • Take photos of all vehicles involved before they are towed or driven away, including all points of impact, damage caused by the accident, preexisting damage, and more.
  • Take photos of the road and scene around the vehicles, including any tire marks, dangerous hazards in the road, or any other conditions that may be related to the collision.
  • Take photos of the debris scattered on the road. Sometimes, information regarding the way items and parts fall off a car can assist accident reconstruction experts in their analysis.
  • Look around and note whether there are any video cameras or other surveillance equipment around that may have recorded the accident. In many cases, a video can provide concrete evidence of what exactly occurred.
  • Make note of anything else that you believe may be relevant to the accident.
Evidence from law enforcement If the accident resulted in serious injuries, if there was a hit and run, or if they believe that any of the drivers may have violated Florida traffic laws,[2] law enforcement officers will conduct their own investigation and gather their own evidence regarding the accident. This evidence may not be as thorough as needed to prove your civil claim, so you should never rely solely on a police investigation for your evidence. However, they may discover factors or circumstances that you did not notice and that may be helpful in your case. Investigation by your attorney In some cases, you will not be able to remain on the scene of the accident because your injuries are too serious and you require emergency medical transport. In such cases, it is important to have someone who can return to the scene of the accident for you as soon as possible to gather as much evidence as possible before everything is cleaned up. An experienced personal injury attorney will serve as your advocate in many capacities, including investigating the scene of the accident. For this reason, you should never hesitate to call an attorney—or have someone else call one—as soon as an accident occurs.

Contact a St. Petersburg auto accident attorney as soon as possible after an accident

Attorneys who do not have experience litigating personal injury cases do not understand the types of evidence that are necessary to adequately prove negligence in an auto accident so that you can recover financially. At the Dolman Law Group Accident Injury Lawyers, PA, our auto accident lawyers have extensive experience pursuing personal injury claims on behalf of injured auto accident victims. We can assist you from the very beginning to the very end of your case, from negotiations with insurance companies to settlement negotiations with the other party to a personal injury trial if necessary. We know the steps to take to best assist you at every stage of your case, including gathering the evidence needed to prove fault in the collision. If you have been in an accident, please call our St. Petersburg office at 727-222-6922 for a free consultation today. Dolman Law Group Accident Injury Lawyers, PA 1663 1st Ave S. St. Petersburg, FL 33712 (727) 472-3909 References: [1] https://www.law.cornell.edu/wex/evidence [2] https://www.leg.state.fl.us/Statutes/index.cfm?App_mode=Display_Statute&URL=0300-0399/0318/0318ContentsIndex.html&StatuteYear=2015&Title=-%3E2015-%3EChapter%20318

Matthew Dolman

Clearwater Personal Injury and Insurance Attorney

This article was written and reviewed by Matthew Dolman. Matt has been a practicing civil trial, personal injury, products liability, and mass tort lawyer since 2004. He has represented over 11,000 injury victims and has served as lead counsel in over 1000 lawsuits. Matt is a lifetime member of the Million Dollar Advocates Forum and Multi-Million Dollar Advocates Forum for resolving individual cases in excess or $1 million and $2 million, respectively. He has also been selected by his colleagues as a Florida Superlawyer and as a member of Florida’s Legal Elite on multiple occasions. Further, Matt has been quoted in the media numerous times and is a sought-after speaker on a variety of legal issues and topics.

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