Mistake #1 Failing to Preserve Evidence at the Scene
The jarring collision of an accident. Tere’s nothing quite as frightening and ofen life-changing.
You may be injured and you will almost certainly be shaken up following an accident. With the shock of the accident, most people don’t think clearly in the moments following. This is especially true for accident victims who find themselves in an accident for the first time.
Knowing What to Do Beforehand Will Help You After an Accident
Being prepared is the best way to guard against feeling helpless and overwhelmed after an accident is knowing what to do beforehand. That knowledge will help you protect yourself and your family if and when an accident happens. To protect yourself, your loved ones, and any future Rhode Island auto or motorcycle claim, it’s essential to preserve key evidence at the scene. Failing to do so is often an accident victim’s first mistake, and it can harm the outcome of their legal claim.
Witness Information Can Be Key in Building a Strong Legal Claim
Avoid this mistake by making sure to talk to witnesses at the scene of an accident if it is physically possible to do so. If you are hurt badly, receiving immediate medical treatment is most important. If the injuries are less severe, however, try your best to talk to witnesses in an attempt to obtain key details. Make sure to get the witnesses’ contact information: name, address, telephone number, and email if possible. Te phone number is the most important information to obtain for a future legal claim.
Sometimes this information is contained in the police accident report, but often it isn’t. When you meet with an accident lawyer, you will want to provide them with a phone number that can be used by an investigator who works on behalf of the lawyer. The investigator can then find these witnesses and talk to them about the accident using this information to build a strong case.
Why Visual Evidence of the Accident Scene Matters
If you can get witness contact information, you should also be able to provide visual evidence of the accident scene. You should provide your lawyer with pictures of the vehicles involved in the accident as well as pictures of the streets, traffic signs and lights, and information about the accident scene.
Taking pictures of the vehicles and surrounding areas from every angle will ensure that you are presenting your lawyer with valuable visible evidence that can make a positive difference for your accident claim. If your phone is low on battery life or you are otherwise pressed for time, make sure to at least take photos of the damage to your vehicle and the other vehicles involved in the accident. Also, warning signs, yield signs, and any other traffic control signs can be used to build a stronger case, so take pictures of them as well.
Use the video camera on your smartphone as well. Insurance companies will want evidence showing that the vehicle damage is accurately portrayed and that other facts like the accident time, date, and location are accurate as well.
You can provide all this information in one simple video recorded on your phone. Simply take a video filming the accident surroundings and state your name, the date, time, and accident location. Continue filming the scene and declare any other information that you may feel is relevant.
This will give you a video filmed with valuable, fact-based evidence. Te earlier you start using your phone—after checking on your personal safety and the safety of others—the better it is for your accident claim.
Shortly after an accident, vehicles often move before police offcers arrive at the accident scene. Without initial photo or video evidence, the circumstances will be harder to prove.
Getting photo or video evidence that a car crossed a double yellow line will prevent a needless, back-and-forth, "he said, she said" battle.
If you are seriously injured, it’s far more important that you get the medical treatment you need as quickly as possible, which will help you avoid the second key mistake that can harm your accident claim.
Finding the Best Rhode Island Car Accident Lawyer
Hiring a car accident lawyer in Rhode Island is an important decision. The best attorneys are able to evaluate your case quickly and provide advice so you can make an informed decision. No attorney should ever pretend to know the exact value of your case in advance, and you should never pay for an initial consultation. The law office of Louis W. Grande handles car cases on “contingency” contracts, meaning that you never pay unless we win your case.
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