The time after a traffic accident can feel chaotic and overwhelming. Often, injuries must be addressed right away. Even when lucky enough to avoid serious injury, many people are not often involved in car crashes and may be unsure of how to proceed. This can make it difficult to obtain the evidence important to a personal injury claim. If you or your loved one has suffered property damage or personal injuries in a car accident, you may want to pursue legal action against the person responsible. Often, these accidents result in missed work and lost income. A personal injury case can help victims obtain justice and compensation to ensure a smooth and secure recovery. These cases, like most legal matters, depend on specific evidence. The more information and documentation a victim can offer the insurance company or the courts, the stronger the case. If possible, try to gather as much evidence as quickly as possible.
What Kind of Evidence Do I Need for a Texas Car Accident Case?
The most important thing to do after a car crash is to seek medical help for any drivers or passengers who have sustained injuries. Once you are sure those needs have been addressed, try to gather as much information as possible about the accident. Important evidence includes:
- Photos of the vehicles involved. Makes sure to photograph any damage up close, as well as the vehicle as a whole.
- Photos of the accident scene and surrounding areas. Take photos of the area of the accident, including anything that may have played a role in the crash. This could include road signs, debris, and more.
- Witness statements and contact information. Talk to people who witnessed the accident and record their version of the events. Take down their contact information so they can be reached later if necessary.
- Video of an impaired driver. If you suspect your accident was caused by an intoxicated driver, it can be helpful to have video evidence if the driver is slurring speech or stumbling. However, exercise caution when doing so. Intoxicated persons can be unpredictable and may not be amenable to a video being taken. There are other ways to show the driver was intoxicated, so do not put yourself at unnecessary risk.
- Your own written account of events. While your own journaling of the accident may not be entered into a court record, it can help you recall specific details that may become hazy as time goes by. Legal matters can take time, so it’s best to make sure you have recorded all information that may be relevant for later recall.
- Police reports. Police reports offer a story from a neutral third party (the recording officer) and can contain key information. A copy of the report can be acquired from the local police station or an experienced attorney can help victims obtain the report.
Other Information That Can Help Support Your Car Accident Case
The evidence discussed previously speaks mainly to the accident itself—what the scene looked like, how the crash occurred, who was at fault, etc. There is some other important information to share with your attorney that can help increase your chance of a successful outcome either in court or in negotiations with an insurance company, including:
- A copy of your insurance policy.
- Proof of payment of your insurance premiums.
- Medical records of injuries related to the accident.
- Income records from before and after the accident.
- Documents related to car repairs.
How Do I Obtain Evidence to Support My Claim in Texas?
Much of this evidence is readily available; it simply needs to be gathered. Other pieces of information, such as witness statements, police records, and 911 recordings can be slightly more difficult to obtain. An experienced lawyer can help accident victims understand the legal system and ensure that they have all the information available. Additionally, a legal team can obtain information that can be used as evidence from the opposing parties through depositions (interviews) and interrogatories (written questions).
Conversely, don’t mistakenly offer the opposing side any information that you are not legally obligated to provide. The lawyers and insurance adjustors working with the at-fault driver will also be seeking to find evidence that will protect their own financial interests. Don’t talk with an insurance adjustor or sign any forms without talking to qualified attorney first.If you or someone you love has suffered injuries in a Texas car accident, you may be eligible to make a claim. Take action today to preserve the evidence you need to protect your rights with the help of the experienced accident attorneys at Kennedy Hodges, LLP. Fill out our online contact form and you’ll receive a prompt response from a member of our legal team.