The aftermath of an auto accident is overwhelming, even if the conditions of the accident are relatively minor. However, the choices you make in the moments after the collision are critical. Kryder Law’s auto accident attorneys want you to know the basic steps to take if you or a loved one experience an accident. This way, you can collect the evidence and information you need in case litigation is appropriate in your circumstances.
Call the Police
While it may sound obvious, many people are so traumatized after an accident that they don’t know what to do first. If you are able to, call 911 to report your accident so the authorities can check out the situation and take statements from you, anyone else involved in the accident, and witnesses.
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The Scene of the Accident
The first photos you should be sure to take our of the accident scene itself. You want to showcase how all of the vehicles involved in the car accident are positioned, relative to each other. Isolated photographs of individual vehicles can leave out important evidence about the crash that would be visible otherwise.
Damage to Your Car
You’ll also want to document the damage to your vehicle as a result of the crash. While it is true that the insurance company will conduct their own investigation and document the damage to your vehicle, having your own photos of the damage could come in handy later during a legal trial. Be sure to photograph any damage related to the accident as clearly and thoroughly as possible.
Damage to Other Cars
If possible, it is a good idea to document the damage of the other vehicles involved in the accident. In some cases, the other driver may try to claim that already existing damage was caused by the accident. Having good photographs of the damage in your possession could be beneficial in proving what kinds of damage took place during the accident.
If the lighting conditions made it difficult to see, taking photographs can help to show how poor lighting made it more difficult to see. For instance, if streetlights are out, it can make it difficult to see bicyclists and pedestrians. If this contributed to your car accident, having detailed records of the streetlight outage could help to build a legal case against the city, who had an obligation to properly maintain streetlights.
However, poor lighting conditions don’t have to be caused by poor city maintenance policies. Even cloudy weather conditions can contribute to auto accidents. Having photographs of foggy or hazing weather could help to illustrate that you were not completely liable for the accident.
In addition to cloudy weather that impacts visibility, other weather conditions can have a dramatic impact on the likelihood that you’ll be involved in an auto accident. Snow, ice, hail, and heavy rain can all cause automotive accidents on Chicago city streets. It is worth taking a few quick photographs with your mobile device to show the weather conditions during the accident. You never know if this evidence could be important to your legal case down the line.
Lastly, you should make an effort to document any contributing factors to your auto accident. If the other party displays signs of distracted driving, it can be important to document this. This can be in the form of taking photographs that support your suspicions, as well as asking the police officer that comes to the scene to administer a sobriety test. Just be sure that you have reasonable suspicion of the intoxication. You wouldn’t want to request a sobriety test if it wasn’t necessary.
Even if you aren’t injured, document the entire accident scene. Should you later realize you’ve been injured or the other party threaten a lawsuit, you need to protect your rights by gathering detailed evidence. In addition to taking pictures, make sure to get contact info for witnesses and anyone else involved in the accident.
Get Medical Attention
Some injuries take time to manifest themselves. It’s important to get a physical exam after an accident to make sure you haven’t been injured. If you have been injured, your physician’s report will become a critical piece of evidence for your auto accident lawyer to review.
Talk to an Auto Accident Attorney
It’s important to contact an auto accident lawyer shortly after an accident. Kryder Law’s personal injury attorneys offer free consultations and are happy to review your case with you. Before your consultation, make sure you have your insurance information, medical records, and any evidence you’ve gathered on hand. Our lawyers will work with you to help you understand what compensation you deserve for any injury or suffering–such as lost wages or medical expenses–you’ve experienced because of your auto accident.