If you’ve been in a motor vehicle collision in San Antonio, you might be wondering about evidence. Everyone knows it’s important — but what type do you need? Do you need to collect it, or will your car wreck injury attorney take care of getting photos and interviewing witnesses for you? This post provides a quick review of the types of evidence regularly encountered in car accident cases.
Ask a San Antonio Car Wreck Injury Attorney: 5 Important Pieces of Evidence
There are specific actions you need to take immediately after a collision. First, ensure that everyone involved is safe and call for medical help, if necessary. Once things have settled down, make sure to take plenty of pictures. Photos play an extremely important role in most car accident investigations. Taking good pictures immediately after an accident can improve the chances of obtaining a favorable settlement.
Get snaps of the vehicles in relation to each other, take close-ups of any damage to your or the other party’s vehicle. Obtain good images of the road and make sure to document any issues such as obstructions. Take note of when and where you took each picture — your attorney may need the information for authentication if your case goes to trial. And remember, the more pictures, the better.
2. Witness Interviews
In situations where third-parties witnesses saw the accident or the events leading up to the crash, it’s critical to obtain statements in which these individuals describe what they saw, who they witnessed doing what, and where they were when the events took place. Don’t worry about attempting to conduct witness interviews on your own. It’s best not to discuss the accident with bystanders. Staying quiet helps prevent the creation of contradictory statements.
Your personal injury attorney will follow up and locate any relevant witnesses, and they may decide to conduct more formal interviews with willing bystanders. It’s important to allow your lawyer to take the lead when it comes to speaking with witnesses. Attorneys often ask professional investigators to conduct these interviews to preserve the ability to impeach the witness if “memory loss” becomes an issue.
3. Medical Reports
If you or anyone riding in your car at the time of the accident sustained any injuries, medical evidence will most likely be an important part of your case. Most experienced personal injury attorneys advise clients to see a physician immediately after any sort of motor vehicle collision. Accident-related injuries often worsen over time, with clear physical symptoms only appearing weeks or months after the crash.
Documenting your physical condition immediately after the accident drastically improves your chances of a favorable recovery by making it more difficult to cast doubt on the origin of any collision-related injuries. Personal injury attorneys regularly work with physicians to obtain client medical records that might prove beneficial. And after taking a look at the facts of your case, your attorney might have suggestions for further examinations that might be helpful.
4. Video and Social Media
Now that we all walk around with supercomputers fitted with high-resolution recording devices in our pockets, video and other types of recorded evidence have drastically increased in importance. Personal injury attorneys now regularly use video and social media evidence during settlement negotiations and at trial. Attorneys often use footage recorded by accident victims at the scene to identify potential witnesses and recreate events leading up to the crash.
Believe it or not, attorneys and investigators often find footage of accidents taken by bystanders uploaded to social media platforms. Let your lawyer know if you find any recordings of the accident or statements online describing what happened. (And a word to the wise: don’t post your images of the accident anywhere online.) Your attorney will review the posts and determine how best to use the information.
5. Expert Witness Evidence
Attorneys sometimes work with experts during the investigatory phase of a case. Independent experts such as psychiatrists, road engineers, and data scientists can often shed important light on specific elements of personal injury cases. A seasoned car wreck injury attorney in San Antonio can quickly determine whether a particular piece of evidence needs expert evaluation and review.
Because most car accident cases are ultimately settled, experienced car accident attorneys know the importance of obtaining solid expert evidence early in the process. The right expert evidence can speed negotiations along and even make a fundamental difference in the outcome of your case, even if the matter never goes to trial. Make sure you understand the compensation structure for any experts retained to work on your case before signing any fee agreement with your attorney.
Gathering the right sort of evidence is a critical step when it comes to getting the settlement you deserve. Evidence is tricky: there’s more to it than just taking a few photographs. Personal injury attorneys know the lay of the land when it comes to obtaining a favorable recovery. Make it easy on yourself and work with an experienced attorney to ensure the evidence collection process is done right from the beginning.