An experienced Columbus car accident lawyer cannot rely only on talent and knowledge of the law to win your claim. They will also need evidence to support your side of the story and justify your damages. Unfortunately, many accident victims arrive for their free case review empty-handed.
While an attorney can help you gather evidence, some pieces of evidence could be lost if you wait too long after the crash. So acting quickly is vital. Remember to gather and preserve car accident evidence carefully. Here are some effective tips to do this.
1. Exchange Information With the Other Driver
All drivers involved in a car accident should exchange contact and insurance information. This will streamline the process of identifying insurance coverage and filing the claim and the letter of demand.
Do not worry if the other driver refuses to cooperate with you. They do not have the right to withhold this information from the police officers who will investigate the crash.
2. Take Photos and Videos of the Accident Scene
Unless you suffered severe injuries and need immediate first aid, you should start taking photos and videos of the crash scene as soon as possible. This is important for various reasons.
- The police will eventually move the vehicles to clear the road for traffic.
- The other driver may decide to flee the scene without waiting for the police.
- Other cars driving by may destroy evidence, such as skid marks.
The photos and videos should capture the position of the cars immediately after the collision, any damages and injuries you suffered, as well as any relevant elements (traffic signs, skid marks, potholes). Do not forget to include a reference landmark in all photos to give a sense of perspective, size, and distance.
3. Obtain Eyewitnesses’ Contact Details
Your Columbus car accident lawyer may obtain valuable information about the crash from the eyewitnesses’ statements. For this reason, ask anyone who saw what happened to provide you with their contact details.
If possible, ask for their permission to record them while giving a statement describing what they saw and heard. At any rate, your attorney will want to talk to these eyewitnesses and obtain a written and signed statement.
4. Look for Any CCTV Cameras in the Area
If there were no witnesses to your auto accident, CCTV camera footage is extremely valuable to prove your case. Look for traffic cameras or CCTV surveillance cameras installed on a business or private property.
Your attorney knows how to speak to the administrator or owner of the camera to obtain the recording of the relevant moment when the accident happened.
5. Get a Copy of the Accident Report
The accident report prepared by the police officers who investigated the crash is an essential piece of evidence in a Columbus car accident claim. You can request your copy online within 48 hours after the accident.
In many cases, this is the most reliable piece of evidence a lawyer can rely on to win the client’s fair compensation.
Tips to Preserve Car Accident Evidence
Gathering evidence is just one part of your due diligence to prove your case. You must also ensure that it remains accessible and intact until the lawyer negotiates your claim or takes your case to court.
Here are a few things you can do to protect evidence:
- Put each object in an individual Ziploc bag and write the date, time, and place of the crash and a short description of the item.
- Save all digital files on multiple devices and a secure cloud storage facility.
- Do not alter photos and videos in any way (no cropping, adjusting contrast and brightness, etc.)
- Do not repair any damaged item whose value you wish to recover as part of your economic damages.
Bring All the Evidence to an Experienced Columbus Car Accident Lawyer
When you prepare for your initial appointment with a Columbus car accident lawyer at Joe Durham Jr., PC., make sure that you bring all the relevant evidence you have. Looking over the evidence will help the attorney to evaluate the strength of your case.
We handle all personal injury cases on a contingency fee basis. That means there are no upfront costs and you pay no legal fees unless your lawyer secures a settlement or a court victory. Call today to schedule your free case review at 229-210-6226!