Car accidents can be draining emotionally, physically, and financially.
When you’re involved in a car crash, there are essential things you must do to ensure everyone is safe, to abide by the law, and to get the insurance company working on your claim.
First, you have to ensure that you and the passengers are not hurt. If someone is hurt, dial 911 or ask someone at the scene to call for help. Any passenger who is seriously injured should limit movement. Second, call the police to file an accident report and inspect the scene of the accident. The law forbids you from leaving the scene of the accident. Try to remain calm. The next step will be to document the accident scene and gather as much evidence as you can.
Professional legal advice is recommended, especially for people who were severely wounded in the accident or for families of people who lost their lives. After you have been involved in a car accident, the last thing you and your family want is for you to be negotiating with insurance representatives fighting in court. Most people prefer hiring experts to get a suitable settlement offer on their behalf.
To build your case for injury lawsuits and insurance claims, you must gather as much evidence as possible. The more the documentation to support your case, the higher the chances of getting a suitable settlement.
The burden of proof
The burden of proof in seeking compensation lies with the complainant. The plaintiff bears the responsibility of demonstrating that the defendant was responsible for the accident and that the complainant suffered damages and injuries. To satisfy the burden of proof, you have to back your claims with evidence that supports your version of the events leading to the accident, and the claims for monetary losses and physical injury. The evidence may be in the form of eyewitnesses, medical bills and records, and photographs.
Scene of the accident
First, gather pertinent evidence such as the name, address, plate number, and license number, and insurance information from all other drivers involved in the crash. If there are any chauffeurs involved, request for their employer’s information.
A picture is worth a thousand words, especially in cases of accidents. Take your camera or phone and start documenting. Your images should include vehicles involved, car damages, proof of car insurance, condition of the other vehicle, skid marks, and the accident scene. If you are hurt or too shaken to take the pictures, have someone take the photos for you.
If there are any eyewitnesses, get their consent for recording them, taking their names, contact information, and vehicle plate number. If the police get to the scene of the accident, request them to file an accident report, and request their badge numbers and names.
Vehicle damages and personal injuries
The most significant portion of reinstatement is compensation for vehicle damage and personal injuries. Therefore, collect all records related to vehicle repair. This includes the documentation of all improvements and repairs made before the accident. You can increase the value of your vehicle if you have replaced all four wheels, or repaired significant components of your engine.
After an accident, those involved are advised to seek medical attention, even when there are no physical signs of injuries. Document all physical injuries and the treatment costs you incurred. Some of the data you can include in your medical report include your doctor’s appointments, names of the medical practitioners you saw, the treatments, diagnostic images such as CT scan and x-rays, and the medical bills. Once you are healed, request a report of all the medical records. If you incurred wage or profit losses, include that in your documentation.
For a personal injury lawsuit, you should gather data from the at-fault driver to use it as evidence at trial. You may record the interrogation with the other driver or use the accident interrogatories, which refer to written questions that the defendant must answer truthfully under oath. You could ask whether the other driver was using their phone or drinking.
Other means of gathering evidence include a deposition, which is a testimony given out of court but under oath. In most cases, a court reporter records and transcribes the testimony.
In the event of an accident, you will need evidence to support your case in court. That way, you will get your settlement and your vehicle repaired as soon as possible. Get a professional to help you out in case you are a bit shaken or recovering from severe injuries.