The Importance of preserving evidence in a personal injury case
The first week immediately after an accident is the most important time for compiling evidence of what happened and documenting the extent of your injuries. As soon as you are physically able, you should make sure to take the following steps.
Return to the Scene
If the accident happened away from your home, return to the location as soon as you can with a camera and document any important evidence and take photographs of anything relevant to the accident. You may be lucky and notice something you previously did not which could have affected the accident, such as a broken traffic light or a tree obscuring the view of a traffic sign. Take photographs of the scene from multiple different angles at the same time of day that the accident occurred.
Protect Physical Evidence
Determining who is ultimately at fault in an accident is often determined by a piece of physical evidence, or something that can be felt or touched, instead of a written description of the scene itself. Physical evidence may also help to prove the full extent of a party's injury. For example, the damage to a car can show how serious a collision was and at what angle it occurred. If the evidence cannot be physically preserved, it may be useful to take a picture of it for your insurance company.
A witness can be a valuable asset for making a case to the insurance company. A witness can describe the accident in a way that confirms and backs up your story. They may also be able to contribute extra information that shows that the other party is truly to blame for the accident. For locating witnesses, time is even more important because people who were not directly involved in the accident have an even weaker ability to retain memories relevant to the case. Make sure to write down any statements made by the witness along with relevant contact information.
Document Your Injuries
The most efficient way to provide evidence for injuries following an accident is to report them to a doctor or other medical professional. A medical record of any injuries may be required to convince an insurance company that you were truly harmed to the degree you claimed to be. Visible injuries that can heal may not appear to be as serious a few weeks later, and may cause the insurance company to argue that your injuries were fabricated or overstated after the accident.