What Kind of Evidence Do I Need I Need To Collect After an Accident?
Posted in Motor Vehicle Accidents on October 3, 2022
It can be confusing to understand what type of evidence you need after a car accident occurs in Washington state. The reality is that you need as much evidence as possible to prove the liability of the other driver or drivers involved. Car accident cases typically hinge on the evidence available to insurance carriers and personal injury juries. Here, we want to discuss the main types of evidence that can help car accident victims secure compensation.
Evidence Gathered Right After a Crash Occurs
The immediate aftermath of a vehicle accident can be incredibly confusing. The scene is often not secured, and any individuals with injuries need to take steps to seek medical care immediately. Sometimes, the lowest priority after a crash occurs is recovering evidence that can help prove liability.
However, there are often times after the initial incident when individuals involved do have time to gather evidence. This could involve using a phone or some other type of camera to take photographs of everything. This includes injuries, damage to vehicles, debris or skid marks, possible causes of the crash, traffic and weather conditions, locations of cameras nearby, and more.
In addition to taking photographs of everything, individuals could use their video feature on the phone and survey the entire scene. The photographs and video evidence may help move the insurance claim along, and they can be invaluable if the case goes all the way to a jury trial.
If there are any eyewitnesses at the immediate crash scene, including bystanders or those inside other vehicles, get their names and contact information written down quickly. These individuals can provide testimony to help back up allegations of liability.
Evidence Gathered in the Days and Weeks After
The evidence gathered at the scene of the incident may not be enough to definitively prove liability for a car accident claim in Washington. In fact, it may be necessary to involve a car accident attorney who can use their resources and experience to gather additional types of evidence. Depending on the situation, some other types of evidence the attorney may try to gather includes:
- The vehicle event data recorder (black box)
- Police reports related to the accident
- The at-fault driver’s driving history
- Mobile device records if distracted driving is suspected
- Surveillance footage from dash cams or cameras on nearby homes or businesses
Sometimes, all of the evidence gathered will paint a very clear picture about who caused the incident. Evidence could be straightforward and point to one driver being at fault, but there are cases where multiple drivers share fault for the incident.
However, in the event the evidence does not paint a clear picture, at least definitively enough for insurance carriers or a jury, it may be necessary to work with a skilled accident reconstruction expert who can use the evidence gathered along with computer and 3D modeling to paint a clearer picture of the accident scene and causes of the crash.
By working with a skilled Seattle personal injury lawyer, you will have an advocate by your side that will use their resources to defend you and help recover the compensation you are entitled to.