The Importance of Evidence after a Car Accident in Baltimore
No matter how minor or severe your car accident is, collecting evidence is critical. The strength of your claim will depend largely on what evidence you have available. Present enough compelling evidence to the other party or the court, and you can secure the compensation you deserve.
Of course, obtaining the evidence you need will not be that easy. Valuable evidence may disappear not long after the crash. So you need to take action immediately after the crash.
Learn more about the steps you need to take and the pieces of evidence you should aim to collect by continuing with the rest of this article.
Request Police Presence at the Scene of the Accident ASAP
The first thing you need to do following your car accident is to call the Baltimore police department. Once again, you must do this regardless of the accident’s severity.
Why is calling the police so important for evidence-gathering purposes? Their presence matters for a few reasons.
For starters, you need the police to control and preserve the scene of the accident. For example, if your accident occurred near a roadway, other motorists or bystanders passing through the area might compromise the scene’s integrity. In addition, evidence that could have supported your case may be lost if the scene is not protected in time.
You also want the police at the scene so they can investigate what happened. Allow them to document what they see, gather statements from the parties involved, and identify any other elements that could be relevant to the case. Seeing the accident site may allow the police officers to piece together the events that occurred.
Police assistance is also welcome if the other party is not speaking to you. For example, the other party may have brushed you off after you requested their contact details and insurance information. If they do not talk to you, the police can change their mind.
Lastly, you want the police to get involved to create a report about your accident. The police report is essential evidence that can legitimize and bolster your claims. Make sure to get that report from the responding police officers later. Note their names, contact details, and badge numbers so you can get the report as soon as it becomes available.
Call 311 if the Police Do Not Respond to Your Accident
Police officers will not always respond to accident calls. However, if they do not head to your accident scene immediately, that likely means more pressing concerns require their presence.
We listed why it is important to have police officers at the scene of your accident. What should you do next if they cannot get there within a reasonable amount of time? Your best bet at that point would be to call 311.
The 311 is a service that allows Baltimore residents to report problems, request services, follow up on reports, or obtain information regarding events in the city. You are calling 311 to report your minor car accident in this scenario.
Do not forget to request an incident number after you report your accident. Hold on to that and use it to retrieve information about your report.
Gather Evidence Yourself
You do not need to wait for the police to gather evidence. Instead, you can step out of your vehicle and collect any evidence while waiting for the police to arrive.
If your phone still works, take pictures of your vehicle. Focus on the parts of your vehicle that got damaged due to the accident. It’s also a good idea to take pictures of the other driver’s car. This will help provide additional evidence in case of any disputes.
Take photos of the accident site to note where it occurred. Pictures of the road and the tire marks there can also help contextualize the moments leading up to the crash. You can also take photos of road signs to help prove that the accident was not your fault.
You can also use your phone to take pictures of your injuries. If any of your belongings received damages during the accident, you should also capture pictures of them.
There is no such thing as taking too many pictures in this scenario. You never know what photos will be helpful, so take as many as possible.
Recording videos of the accident site is also a good idea.
Speak to Witnesses
Apart from the photos and videos, you can also collect witness statements while at the accident scene. Exit your car and look for anyone nearby. Approach them and start asking them about what they saw.
Witness statements can be powerful evidence that helps law enforcement assemble the accident puzzle. A witness can tell you how the chain of events unfolded, and you can use the other pieces of evidence to bolster their testimony.
Speak to any witnesses you find and ask if you can record their statements using your phone. Remember to take down their names and contact details because you will likely need to speak to them later as you proceed with your case.
Consult with a Doctor
Many car accident victims make the mistake of putting off a visit to the doctor. Because you do not feel any concerning symptoms following the crash, you might assume that you are completely fine. However, days later, you suffer from bad headaches and general soreness, and only then do you realize that you need to see a doctor. Unfortunately, that little delay between your accident and your visit to the doctor could prove costly.
The other side could pounce on your decision to hold off on visiting the doctor as proof that you only sustained minor injuries. They may argue that the injuries you are complaining about are related to a separate matter, not the car accident.
Save yourself from those potential problems by going to the doctor immediately after your accident. Even if you feel fine, you should ask the doctor to run a few tests so they can confirm that you are in good condition.
If you are injured, your doctor can note that in their diagnosis. You can then use your medical records to prove you are making legitimate injury claims.
We understand that going to the doctor can be inconvenient. Still, it is necessary if you are planning to seek compensation following your car accident. Give yourself the best chance to recoup fair compensation by presenting accurate and updated medical records.
Hire a Car Accident Lawyer
Finally, you should hire a car accident lawyer to present the strongest case possible. Your lawyer’s services will come in handy while you are filing a personal injury lawsuit or negotiating with the other party. In addition to that, your lawyer can also help you collect more evidence.
Your lawyer can return to the scene of the accident and see if any of the establishments nearby have footage of the crash. They can also follow up with the witnesses you interviewed initially to check if they have new information to provide.
Lawyers also have extensive experience working with local law enforcement. They can lean on that experience to quickly get a hold of police reports. You will need that police report when you file your lawsuit, so let your lawyer claim it.
Partnering with a lawyer will also be beneficial in cases where establishing fault is tricky. Your lawyer can bring in expert witnesses to testify and demonstrate that the crash was not your fault.
Baltimore Car Accident Lawyer
Attorney John Leppler has been an ally to car accident victims in Baltimore for many years. Unlike the mega firms operating in Maryland, John will help anyone who needs the services of a legal expert. Reach out to us at Leppler Injury Law today if you are interested in securing John’s services!
Some of the locations John serves includes: Towson, Baltimore, Lutherville-Timonium, Pikesville, Owings Mills, Parkville, and more.