When you’ve been in a serious accident with significant property damage and injuries, it’s likely an investigation will take place to determine fault. Law enforcement and insurance companies will oversee their own investigations. If you believe you are not liable for the accident and it resulted from someone else’s negligent actions, you can contact a lawyer who will conduct an additional investigation to prove why you are owed compensation for what you’ve been through.
It’s likely that each investigation will result in different types of evidence that different parties can use to their advantage. Investigations are complicated, so understanding the different types of evidence and how they are used to prove a claim is valuable.
Inspecting the Crash Site
Immediately following an auto wreck, law enforcement will focus on safety. They will work to ensure everyone involved receives necessary medical attention and that other drivers or pedestrians are not in danger. After everyone is safe, they will gather preliminary information. This could include the date and time of the accident, who called the police, the location of the crash, the number and types of vehicles involved, and the weather and road conditions.
Police will examine the crash scene and take photographs. Notes will be made about the property damage to the vehicles, important details like a flat tire or broken glass, skid marks, and in what positions the vehicles ended up.
Both your insurance adjuster and attorney will use the police report to try to understand what happened. If a crash resulted in catastrophic injuries or death, your attorney may hire an accident reconstructionist to determine the paths the vehicles took and why the accident happened.
Documenting Driver and Witness Accounts
After the basic facts are established, officers will speak to the involved drivers separately and record their statements. They will also talk with passengers and any other witnesses. First, they will listen to the individuals recount what they experienced or saw. Then, they will ask a series of question to obtain additional information. They will make note of the physical and mental state of the people they speak with, including signs of intoxication or emotional shock.
The insurance company will speak with the same individuals in an attempt to determine fault. That is their primary focus, as it will impact how much money they have to give to the victim. It’s important to remember that you can have your lawyer speak with the insurance company. Because adjusters are typically focused on the bottom line, they may ask questions that could make it seem like the accident was your fault or your injuries are not as severe as you claim. Your lawyer will have extensive experience speaking with adjusters and will work to ensure you receive the compensation you deserve.
Examining Property Damage
To document the property damage, police officers will take photographs of the vehicles. If you are able, it’s a good idea to take additional photos, as well. Having a picture of every angle and every scratch or dent will help you lawyer determine how and why the accident happened.
The adjuster may ask for photographs of the damage, or they could go see the damage. Using their own formulations, they will determine how much damage was done and how much compensation they believe you are owed to repair or replace the vehicle.
Connecting Injuries to the Accident
After a wreck, it’s imperative to seek medical attention. Even if you feel okay, there are injuries and conditions that take time to develop. Not going to the doctor for an examination could end up hurting your claim because your insurance company might not take you seriously and you won’t have proof of physical harm.
The medical records pertaining to your accident can be submitted as evidence. Once your injuries have been evaluated and you’ve received a diagnosis and treatment recommendations, your lawyer can use your medical records to strengthen your accident claim. A medical expert can explain how and why your injuries occurred. Once it’s proven that you were not at fault, your lawyer and the insurance company can calculate your medical expenses and determine the cost of future care, so you won’t have to worry about extensive bills.
When you’re coping with physical injuries and the trauma of a crash, it can be overwhelming to think about the evidence surrounding your claim and how you will go about proving you did nothing wrong. The lawyers at the Law Office of Todd W. Burris can relieve you of that burden and handle negotiations with the insurance company. Contact us today for more information.