If you have been involved in a car accident in the Dallas-Fort Worth metroplex, you need to build your best case for a personal injury claim. That means you must gather as much evidence about the crash as you can. The more evidence you have to support your personal injury claim, the more likely you are to protect yourself from any fabricated defenses made by the at-fault driver or their insurance company and win a fair settlement amount to cover your losses.
Let's take a close look at the importance of evidence in a car accident lawsuit and the types of evidence that can work to your advantage.
Evidence from the Scene of the Accident
Immediately after your car crash, you may feel shocked and confused. It may even take you a few minutes to get your bearings. Having said that, remember that a lot of vital evidence in a car accident can only be retrieved on the crash site, which makes it essential that you take control of the situation and act promptly.
If you are able to stand and walk about, try to gather all pertinent evidence, such as:
Photographs of the scene of the accident
Photographic evidence can be critical in illuminating the mechanics of the crash and proving fault in a car accident claim. Assuming you are in a condition to take pictures immediately after the crash, use your phone to thoroughly document the crash site from several different angles.
When taking photographs, pay special attention to:
- Any injuries you may have suffered.
- The condition of the vehicles involved and their damage.
- Placement of the vehicles.
- Debris from the collision, skid marks or broken glass.
- Any road defects or construction work that may have contributed to the accident.
- Any traffic control devices (i.e., traffic lights or stop or yield signs) at the scene.
- Weather and lighting conditions.
If your injuries do not prevent you from speaking to other people immediately after the accident, try to collect the names and contact information of the pedestrians in the area or the drivers of other vehicles who may have seen the crash and the events leading up to it. These eyewitnesses may be able to provide objective descriptions of precisely what they saw and help back up your side of the story.
This should be a no-brainer: you should not let the other driver flee the scene without identifying him/herself. Try to get their name, home address, phone number, license number, license plate number, and insurance information. If the driver was driving for their employer at the time of the accident, you must also get the name and contact information of the employer.
Get the name and badge number of the police officer who arrives at the scene of the accident. Ask for the police report number and instructions for getting hold of a copy; you may be able to use the official report later as evidence. Police reports are public records and carry a lot of information, including the responding officer’s assessment of who was at fault for the accident, that can be helpful in the early resolution of your claim. Although this assessment is not conclusive, especially since the responding officer probably did not witness the car accident firsthand, it can be quite persuasive.
Evidence of Personal Injuries
No matter how minor the severity of the car accident and your resulting injuries, it is crucial that you immediately seek professional medical attention. Some injuries, such as brain injury, concussions, and internal bleeding, are not immediately obvious, and a timely diagnosis can literally save your life.
From your initial ER visit to your routine appointments, your medical records (such as receipts of prescription and over-the-counter medications related to your injuries, as well as diagnostic images such as x-rays or MRIs) can also serve as evidence of the nature and extent of your injuries resulting from the car accident.
Evidence of Damages
In most car accident lawsuits, a sizable lump of the recovery is related to vehicle damage. Gather all of your past car maintenance and service files — these records may prove that the accident was not caused because your car broke down. In some cases, it may even prove that a faulty component was what caused the accident.
You must also gather records of any recent repairs or upgrades made to your car shortly before the crash. For example, if your car was completely wrecked in the crash, you can raise the value attributed to your car if you have evidence that you recently invested money into its repairs or upgrades (replaced all four tires or engine components).
Don’t wait too long to file a claim!
No matter how strong or persuasive your personal injury claim is, if it is not brought before the "Statute of Limitations" deadline, the court may strip away your right to file it. This could leave you with significant past/future medical expenses and lost wages that you will not be able to recover. According to Texas Civil Practice and Remedies Code § 16.003 (a), the Statute of Limitations for car accident claims in Texas is two years from the date of the accident for adults. In addition, evidence critical to your case can fade over time or be lost forever, which makes it essential to file a claim and act promptly in proving the extent of your losses. Contact the car accident attorneys at Samples Ames PLLC as soon as possible after a car crash to obtain assistance and instruction in what you should do to bolster a possible legal claim.
Talk to our Farmer's Branch / Carrollton / Dallas-Fort Worth car accident attorneys today!
If you have suffered injuries or lost a loved one in a car accident in or around the Dallas-Fort Worth area due to the negligence, recklessness, or carelessness of another driver, the car accident lawyers at Samples Ames PLLC can help you through the process of identifying, gathering and preserving evidence that supports the facts of your legal claim. Our car accident attorneys have the experience and resources to help you get the settlement you deserve.
If you contact us today at (817) 605-1505 or (469) 466-2600, we will be happy to review your case and determine the best way to proceed to ensure you get the compensation you deserve for your injuries. Since we charge no fee unless we are successful in obtaining an award for you, you have nothing to lose.