One of the leading causes of personal injuries in New York is car crashes. Between 2012 and 2014, road accidents across the state led to more than 1,000 deaths annually. In all, nearly 140,000 individuals visited the emergency departments to seek aid for injuries from a motor vehicle crash.
These numbers are daunting and a car accident is indeed a traumatic experience. However, you can cope with the injuries from a car crash better if you don’t have to deal with the financial fall-out of the accident as well. If the other driver was at fault, you can obtain damages for your injury and losses. You will need to prove your claim and back it up with the right evidence in order to do that.
Here are some tips on how to gather evidence at the crash site if you run into an accident.
Photographic and Video Evidence
Most drivers today carry a smartphone with them. If you run into an accident, you should collect photographic evidence of the crash. When done right, photographic evidence can be quite reliable and provides a fairly accurate picture of the crash scene.
When collecting photographic evidence, follow these important guidelines:
- Photograph the crash scene. Investigation experts and a jury will later try to reconstruct the accident and see exactly how it happened. You can help them and your own claim by collecting evidence related to the crash site. Photograph the exact spot of the accident, any skid marks on the road, traffic signs or poles nearby as well as the surrounding area. Take close-up shots as well as standard photos from a distance to give a complete picture.
- Photograph the vehicles. The vehicles involved in a crash scene are an important piece of evidence. However, they are driven away soon after the accident and then repaired so that the evidence is no longer available. So it is important to photograph the vehicles. Take close-up shots of the exact place of impact, the damage incurred by the vehicles as well as their final resting position.
- Photograph the injuries. If you or any other individuals have been injured in the accident, make sure to photograph these injuries. It is important to be thorough about it. Photograph the small and large cuts, bruises, or any other visible signs of harm. Such evidence will be crucial in supporting your damages claim later.
- Make videos of the scene. If possible, also make videos of the crash site, the vehicles, and the surrounding landscape. Videos are able to provide a more seamless view of an accident compared to photos.
Do not share your photographic or video evidence with anyone before consulting a Buffalo car accident lawyer. Insurance companies or others may misuse the data and an attorney will advise you on when it’s safe to share the photos.
When you are involved in a car crash, it is important to get the contact information and relevant details of other parties that are involved. These include not just the other drivers but also any witnesses nearby. Here are some tips to make sure you collect the right information:
- Be as detailed as possible. Note down the vehicle registration, model and year. Ask the other driver about the license number, address, insurance details, and phone number. You will need these details later to make sure your damages claim is filed and concluded quickly.
- Solicit the testimony of witnesses. If there are witnesses nearby, you should ask them about their contact information. Also, ask them if they have any evidence such as photos or videos taken on their phones. This will provide a second perspective on the accident.
- Note down all the details. You may think you can remember the details but that is often not the case. If the witnesses or other drivers make any statements about the accident, make sure to note them down.
New York follows the contributory negligence law when dealing with car accident damage claims. Any and all evidence will be critically important in determining the fault percentage for all parties.
Once the police arrive at the crash site, you and others are required to provide a basic statement about what happened. It is important not to blame any party at this point. Simply stick to the facts as you know them. A police report is then compiled based on the conclusion reached by the officer on site. You can later obtain a copy of this report and use it as a part of the evidence for your damages claim.
Evidence of Damages
When you file a car accident damages claim, you can also seek compensation for property loss, including damage to your vehicle. Such damage may not be immediately clear and you may learn about it once you take your car for repairs. If that is the case, any documentation that details the nature and cost of such repairs or improvements is an important piece of evidence. You may submit it as evidence along with your claim.
Hiring Reliable Car Accident Lawyers in Buffalo, New York
If you have suffered injuries or loss of property in a car crash in Buffalo, New York, we can help. Our Buffalo car accident lawyers have helped countless crash victims recover suitable compensation for their losses. Contact us today to book a FREE consultation and let’s discuss your case.