What type of evidence should I collect at the scene of a car accident?
Pursuing a car accident claim isn't easy. Without enough evidence proving fault of the driver who hit you, obtaining compensation may be difficult.
You may be shaken up at the time of a crash. The only thing on your mind may be getting your car repaired and seeing a doctor. As long as you're not severely injured, you shouldn't let that stop you from collecting evidence that could support your claim.
What should I do immediately after a car accident?
Before gathering your own evidence, it's critical that you first do the following:
- Move your car out of the way of traffic.
- Check on other parties involved and call 911 immediately.
- Exchange your insurance information and contact information with the other driver involved in the crash.
Gathering crash scene evidence
After you have followed these procedures, you may begin gathering evidence from the crash scene. Here's how:
- Take pictures of the crash scene: Physical evidence can't be disputed. That's why it's important to take pictures of the crash scene from as many different angles as possible. A picture captures the damage done to both cars, damage to roadside structures and any tire marks in the road.
- Take note of any nearby surveillance cameras: Surveillance cameras aren't everywhere, but you may find them at intersections or near business buildings. The video footage may show exactly how a crash occurred. Your attorney may be able to obtain this footage.
- Speak to witnesses: When you have the word of a witness, your claim is no longer your word against the at-fault driver's. Be sure to ask witnesses what they saw and take down their names and contact information.
- Document the behavior of the at-fault driver: The behavior of the other driver may also serve as evidence in your claim. In some cases, the at-fault driver will admit fault. Be sure to note this. If the at-fault driver appeared to be impaired by alcohol or was behaving aggressively, be sure to note that, as well. Impaired drivers are usually arrested at the scene of a crash once the police investigate.
- Obtain a copy of the police report: When police arrive at the scene of the crash, they will launch an investigation and put together an unbiased crash report. You may obtain a copy of your crash report at the Chicago Police Department or at Illinois.gov.
How can my car accident attorney use the evidence I have gathered?
After gathering this critical evidence, reporting the crash to your own insurance company, and getting medical attention, you should speak to an experienced Chicago car accident attorney as soon as possible.
Your attorney acts as a buffer between you and the at-fault driver's insurance company. The evidence you provide to your attorney can help you build a strong and indisputable claim. To maximize your chance of obtaining adequate compensation, contact Coplan + Crane and schedule your free case evaluation.