Motor vehicle accidents occur suddenly but may carry long-term consequences for those involved. Among the potential consequences are medical expenses, property damage and reduced quality of life.
Financial recovery for damages resulting from a motor vehicle accident often depends on establishing who is at fault for the accident. While the top priority following an accident is the health and safety of those involved, there are steps motorists can take to preserve evidence of how an accident occurred and who is at fault.
Steps to preserve evidence
As mentioned previously, the top priority following an accident is getting help for those who have been injured. After ensuring the safety of all involved, motorists generally want to preserve evidence and document the circumstances of the accident.
Calling the police is often an important first step. Police reports provide objective documentation of an accident scene and frequently include witness statements of those involved.
While motorists want to be cooperative with police, they should be cautious about admitting fault. In the aftermath of the accident, a motorist may not be thinking clearly and have not had an opportunity to consult legal counsel, so they should be cautious about statements suggesting or acknowledging fault.
Where possible, a motorist should photograph the scene and any damage. Photographs from multiple vantage points are essentially helpful.
If there are witnesses, it is a good idea to obtain contact information. Motorists may also take note of any businesses near the accident scene that could have surveillance video of the accident.
It is a good idea to seek medical attention for any injuries, both to aid in recovery and to document the injury. A motorist seeking financial recovery generally must prove that an injury resulted from an accident and the extent of the injury, so seeking prompt medical attention helps in documenting both the cause and extent of an injury.
Consult with an attorney
Anytime a motorist is involved in a serious automobile accident, they should consult with an experienced attorney. An attorney can advise on a motorist’s rights following an accident and any potential avenues of relief.