When you’ve been hurt in an accident, it may seem obvious to you that you should be able to obtain compensation. Over the years, you have probably paid plenty of money to car insurance companies and you may assume that if you’re hurt, you’ll automatically be compensated for damages, medical bills, and lost wages.
Insurance companies are for-profit businesses, and insurance representatives are paid to maximize profits and minimize payouts. In order to prove you’re entitled to compensation after an accident that is caused by someone else, there’s evidence you should gather to protect yourself from unfair treatment by insurance companies.
Evidence at the Scene of the Accident
When you’ve been in an accident and you’re hurt, it’s hard to focus on anything other than getting medical attention. If at all possible, the time to start gathering evidence is at the scene of the accident. You and the other driver should exchange information including:
- Driver’s license number
- Insurance information
- Vehicle plate number and state if different from your own
Most of the time, the other driver will cooperate by giving you this information. If for any reason the other driver resists giving you this basic information, it’s even more important to clearly document details such as the license plate number and a description of their vehicle including color, make and model.
Assuming the Burden of Proof
While it might seem obvious to you that the other driver was at fault, you have to assume that you’ll need to prove it in order to be sure you’ll obtain the compensation you deserve. Besides the basic information about the other driver, you’ll need to document details such as how the accident occurred, whether weather conditions or road damage was a factor and whether there were any witnesses.
If you’re able to obtain pictures of skid marks or the condition of both vehicles after the accident, this may be helpful evidence for your case. Get the contact information of anyone who saw the accident, and make sure that police come to the scene and fill out a police report. A police report can provide evidence of a professional non-biased explanation of how the accident occurred
It’s very important to be carefully evaluated by your doctor or an urgent care doctor after a vehicle accident to try to identify any injuries that were related to the accident. Even if the accident seemed to be minor and even though symptoms may not show up right away, the doctor may be able to recognize evidence of injury immediately after the accident.
It’s also very important to closely follow all instructions given to you by the doctor regarding care and follow-up appointments. Documentation by your doctor or by paramedics on the scene of the accident can be important evidence to prove the extent of your injuries. Medical documentation can include any or all of the following:
- Medical bills
- Emergency room visit records
- Hospital stay records
- Records of treatment by specialists such as physical therapists
Getting Legal Advice
If you’ve been hurt in an accident caused by someone else’s negligence, you deserve to be compensated. It’s always a good idea to talk to an expert in the field of personal injury law to make sure you understand your rights. At Taos Injury Lawyers, we can answer any questions you may have about how to go about obtaining compensation and we can help you gather the evidence you need.
It’s important to hire an attorney right away so they can gather information to prove your case. Video surveillance, for instance, could be vital in helping and oftentimes needs to be obtained immediately after a crash. Witnesses are also much more difficult to reach and remember far less, when there are delays.
Get in touch with us by filling out our contact form on this page to get started right away. We’ll get back to you very soon to discuss your accident and whether you have a case.