The aftermath of a car accident can be overwhelming, leaving you shaken and unsure of your next steps. If you’ve been involved in a collision in Buffalo, New York, gathering evidence is crucial for protecting your legal rights and pursuing compensation for damages.
This blog explores the legal aspects of evidence gathering in New York State and provides practical tips. Our Buffalo car accident lawyers are here to help you with your case, so contact us today.
The Importance of Evidence
Under New York’s “no-fault” insurance system, both parties involved in a car accident are covered for their own medical expenses, regardless of who was at fault. However, if you’ve suffered serious injuries or sustained significant property damage, you may be able to file a personal injury lawsuit against the at-fault driver.
In such cases, gathering evidence is essential to prove negligence and build a strong case for compensation.
Types of Evidence
The types of evidence you collect will depend on the specific circumstances of your accident. However, the following are some key elements to consider.
This is the official record of the accident and should be obtained as soon as possible. The police report will contain details about the collision, witness statements, and the officer’s assessment of the situation.
Photographs and Videos
Capture comprehensive images and videos of the scene, including damage to vehicles, skid marks, debris, and any environmental factors that may have contributed to the accident. Take close-ups and wide-angle shots to provide a complete picture.
If anyone witnessed the accident, obtain their contact information and write down their recollection of the events while their memory is fresh. Their statements can corroborate your account and provide valuable insights.
Document all medical treatment you receive after the accident, including doctor’s visits, prescriptions, and diagnostic tests. These records will serve as evidence of your injuries and the extent of your damages.
Vehicle Damage Receipts
Keep copies of any repair bills or estimates for damage to your vehicle. This tangible evidence demonstrates the financial impact of the accident.
Other Relevant Documents
Gather any other relevant documents, such as traffic tickets issued at the scene, insurance information, and employment records if your injuries affect your ability to work.
Once you’ve gathered evidence, it’s crucial to preserve it properly. Here are some tips:
- Date and label everything: Clearly mark each piece of evidence with the date, time, and location of the accident.
- Store photos and videos electronically: Save them in a secure location, such as a cloud storage service or a password-protected folder on your computer.
- Keep physical copies: Print out photographs and make copies of important documents.
- Don’t alter or destroy evidence: Leave everything untouched and avoid discussing the accident with anyone besides your lawyer and medical professionals.
Considerations for Buffalo, NY
In addition to the general tips discussed above, there are some unique aspects to consider when gathering evidence after a Buffalo car accident.
Weather and Road Conditions
Buffalo is known for its unpredictable weather, including snow and ice. If weather was a factor in your accident, document the conditions:
- Take photos or videos of the weather: Capture images of the road surface, visibility, and any weather-related hazards like snowdrifts or icy patches.
- Check weather reports: Find official weather reports for the time of the accident to corroborate your claims about the conditions.
- Be aware of ongoing road closures or advisories: Check city or state websites for information about road closures or advisories that may have contributed to the accident.
Local Traffic Camera Footage
Many intersections and major roads in Buffalo have traffic cameras installed. These cameras can offer valuable evidence of the accident, capturing details like traffic signals, vehicle movements, and weather conditions.
- Contact the Buffalo Police Department Traffic Division: Request information about potential camera footage from the area of the accident.
- Be prepared to wait: Retrieving camera footage may take time, so be patient and follow up with the police department if necessary.
Contact Our Buffalo Car Accident Lawyers
Navigating the legal complexities of a car accident can be challenging. An experienced personal injury attorney at Buffalo Car Accident Lawyers can help you understand your rights and guide you through the process of gathering and preserving evidence.
Contact us at 716-261-2614 for a free consultation.
While gathering evidence is crucial, your health and well-being are the top priorities. Seek medical attention immediately after the accident and prioritize your recovery.