If you have been injured in a car accident, you may decide to file a lawsuit. The more documentation you have that supports your claim, the better your chances of winning full compensation for your damages.
Valuable Evidence to Gather
It is up to the injured party—also called the plaintiff—in a lawsuit to provide enough evidence to prove their personal injury case. The plaintiff needs to prove that the other driver was at fault in causing the car accident that resulted in their injuries.
Evidence can come in many forms, including:
- Pictures of the accident as well as the damages and injuries
- Medical records
- Eyewitness reports from those who saw the accident happen
- Expert witness reports
- Cell phone records
- Police reports
- Breathalyzer results
Gathering Evidence From the Scene of the Accident to Establish Liability
Regardless of how minor the accident, it’s always a good idea to call the police so that you can file a report. This report will be one of the most crucial parts of determining which driver is legally at fault.
Make sure you have the following information:
- Names and addresses of the parties involved in the crash
- Driver’s license numbers
- Insurance information for the drivers involved
- Vehicle information, including license plate numbers
It’s also a good idea to ascertain whether or not any of the drivers were driving a vehicle for an employer. If a driver causes an accident while working, the company may be liable for the damages that result.
You should take pictures of the accident scene, if possible. Note the condition of the vehicles involved, the location of traffic signals, the presence of any skid marks, and anything else notable.
If you can, talk to any eyewitnesses and take notes of what they have seen.
Gathering Evidence of Physical Injuries and Lost Income
If you have been injured in a car accident that wasn’t your fault, the most important component of your case will be gathering evidence related to those injuries. Be sure to seek medical treatment immediately following the accident, informing your healthcare providers that you were involved in a car crash.
Document each appointment that relates to the treatment of your injuries, including who you saw, the reason for the visit, the treatment you received, and how much the visit cost. After treatment is completed for your injuries and you are released by your doctor, ask for copies of records, including treatment and diagnostic images such as X-rays and MRIs.
If you have lost any income because of your injuries or treatment, document this as well. You can save copies of your pay stubs, records from self-employment, or ask for a statement from your employer.
Additional Evidence Your Lawyer Can Gather
If you have filed a personal injury lawsuit, your lawyer can work with you to obtain information related to the accident from the driver who was at fault. Car accident interrogatories, which are written questions the at-fault party much answer under oath, are one way to do this. These questions can help determine what the other driver was doing at the time of the accident, such as texting on a cell phone or driving under the influence.
Another way to gather evidence is through a deposition. This is an out-of-court testimony that is also given under oath. It is usually transcribed by a court reporter. Depositions can often reveal pertinent information about the accident that can be used in court.
Protecting Your Rights
If you have been involved in a car accident that wasn’t your fault, and you are now dealing with injuries as a result of that accident, please contact the Law Office of Matthew A. Lathrop. As your car accident lawyer in Omaha, we offer free consultations by phone or in person to discuss the details of your case.