Figuring out what happened after a serious motor vehicle crash typically requires more than collecting statements from the people involved. There is a range of evidence that can prove what happened, who is to blame and how bad the damage is.
What kind of information is relevant?
Any information that can point to the cause of a crash can be crucial. Having all the puzzle pieces makes it easier to get treatment and pursue damages, if appropriate. Some of the most commonly collected pieces of information after a car crash include:
- Photographs – Pictures of damages, the individuals involved and the scene can provide critical, objective proof of the details.
- Videos – Individuals may also record videos of the scene on their phones, but there may also be other recordings to collect. This includes dash cams, traffic cameras and surveillance videos in the area. Further, there may be video doorbells that recorded the incident, though this could be a legally thorny issue.
- Accident reconstruction – Professionals trained in accident reconstruction may be able to provide details of a crash using information like environmental conditions and collected data to show what happened.
- Police reports – Police reports can reflect statements and details of an accident in the immediate aftermath. Over time, people can forget or change what they remember, and police reports can be crucial.
- Witness statements – People who witness a crash may have seen or remembered details that others did not. For instance, they might have seen a driver texting seconds before a collision or remember the make and model of a hit-and-run driver’s car.
This list is by no means exhaustive, but it can give readers a good idea of the range of information that can prove to be valuable.
Do I have to collect all of this?
It can be all but impossible for individuals to collect this evidence themselves, especially if they suffered severe injuries. They may be in pain, in shock or unconscious. So, no, you need not collect all this information yourself if you are in a crash.
You can work with your attorney, law enforcement agents and possibly insurance companies to gather the evidence you need to determine what happened and who is liable.