Critical Car Accident Mistake #1 – Not Documenting the Accident Scene

Specific steps must be taken directly following a car accident, especially if you believe the damage is severe enough to warrant a personal injury lawsuit. If you do not document the accident scene right away, you will lose the opportunity altogether.
While you may understandably feel confused or in shock at this time, recording the details of your car accident is often a critical component in proving the other driver’s liability and defending a personal injury claim. The steps below will help you to get out of harm’s way following a serious car accident without losing valuable evidence in the process.
Move Away From Traffic
It is against the law in Massachusetts to leave the scene of an accident, regardless of the severity. After a car accident you may need to move your car to the side of the road, but you cannot leave the scene and neither can the other driver. If anyone is injured call an ambulance immediately.
If moving away from traffic is impossible, take whatever steps are necessary to warn oncoming traffic of your car accident, including:
o Setting out How To Sue A Store For Injury flares;
o Turning on hazard lights;
o Raising the hood or trunk of your vehicle.
After you have exited your vehicle and checked for injuries, you will naturally want to talk to the other driver involved. It is vital to control what you say following a car accident. While you may feel agitated and frustrated, always keep in mind that whatever you say can be used against you at a later date.
Under no circumstances should you:
o Discuss the accident with anyone at the scene;
o Argue;
o Accuse anyone; or
o Admit fault or take blame
Remaining as calm as possible will help you document the evidence you need without compromising your position as an accident victim. Even How To Talk To Personal Injury Lawyer saying something as simple as, “I’m sorry,” to the other driver can be used in court to prove that you admitted to causing the accident.
Call the Police
Never allow the driver of the other vehicle to convince you that contacting the police after a car accident is unnecessary. Calling the police works to your advantage, but know some departments will not respond to minor accidents.
If the police respond to your car accident, ask them to make a written report and write down the officer’s name and badge number for your own records. Always be sure to check your copy of the officer’s report for errors. If something must be corrected, make sure it is done immediately, while the car accident is still fresh in the officer’s mind.
If your car accident occurred at a business, i.e. – in a store parking lot, ask the store manager if they have surveillance cameras. Obtaining a copy of this video can be extremely beneficial to your personal injury case.
Gather as Much Information as Possible
It is not possible to have too much information about the scene of your car accident. The more information you have, the stronger your personal injury case will be, so make sure you document as much as you can, including:
o Contact information from all involved parties and witnesses
o All possible information from the other driver’s insurance card and driver’s license
o Notate the color, make, and model of all involved vehicles as well as their license plate numbers
o Take as many pictures of the cars and accident scene as possible from as many angles as possible. These pictures should include nearby traffic signs, traffic signals, skid marks, debris, and guard rails/utility poles (if struck in the accident). These photos also help document the weather conditions at the time of your accident.
o Document all of your injuries (with photographs). If you are too injured to take photos yourself, ask someone to help you.
These steps must be taken immediately after your car accident in order to preserve the evidence you need to make a successful personal injury claim. This is the only time you are going to have to accurately document the scene and the people involved.
After you have completed gathering your evidence, you should exchange insurance and contact information with the other driver(s), but do not make any statements about your accident or injuries to anyone except the police and paramedics.

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