Getting the evidence you need after a car accident can seem intimidating. Especially if you are injured and are busy dealing with your recovery, securing evidence might be the last thing on your mind. However, our attorneys can help you with this process.
Most evidence you gather at the scene of the crash will be information: who was involved, what happened, where did it happen, when did it happen, and why did it happen? If you can, you should also take photos of the vehicles and injuries – but you will not always be able to collect physical pieces of evidence like vehicle debris. Also keep in mind that police reports contain a lot of the evidence you need – and your attorney can help you recover other evidence you might not think of at first, such as security camera footage.
For help with your car accident case, call the Westchester car accident attorneys at The Martello Law Firm today. Our phone number is (914) 685-6950.
How to Collect Information at the Scene of the Accident in New York
To collect most of the evidence you will need for your injury case, you will simply have to ask some questions and record some information that is readily available to you after the accident. Using a pen and paper is one of the best ways to collect this information, but you can also use the notes app on your phone or even snap pictures or take video of a lot of the evidence you need.
What Information to Collect
As mentioned, a lot of the information you need is the “Who,” “What,” “When,” “Where,” and “Why” information:
- Collect the names and contact info of any drivers or victims involved in the accident.
- Also collect names and contact info for any potential witnesses.
- Keep notes about what vehicles were damaged (including the license plate number, make, and model for each vehicle).
- Keep notes about what injuries resulted (especially your own injuries).
- Note when the accident happened.
- Document where the accident happened, including the street name; a nearby cross street, address, or mile-marker; and whether any signs or traffic signals were present.
- Note what lighting, weather, and road conditions might have affected your accident case.
- Record your immediate thoughts about how the accident happened and who caused it.
There is also some specific information that you should get, such as the other driver’s insurance information. The law might also require you to display your driver’s license, and you can also get the other driver’s license information to help ID them.
Also report the accident to the police – they will collect a lot of this same information and make it available in a police report later.
Keep in mind that the information you collect will be given to your Mount Vernon car accident lawyer and later shown to a judge and jury. Try to write as neatly as you can and avoid personalized notations and abbreviations that someone else might misunderstand.
How to Collect and Organize Car Accident Evidence/Information
A lot of the information you collect at the scene of a car accident will be names, contact info, license plate numbers, and addresses. One of the best ways to collect this information is by keeping a notepad and pen in your car.
If you do not have a pen and paper, you can often use your cell phone to take photos of the information:
- Snap a picture of the other driver’s license and insurance card
- Take a photo of the nearest street sign and where your car is located nearby
- Take pictures of the vehicles involved, including clear photos of their license plates
- Take photos of the people involved and any injuries they might have
You can also keep notes in a digital form on your phone through your notes app. If you are truly in a pinch and cannot focus on writing down information, try opening an audio memo or recording a video of yourself reciting the information aloud.
However you track the information, clearly label it as information related to your car accident and keep it in a safe place. If you have to go to the hospital, make sure that the information is preserved in a safe location while you undergo treatment. When you get time, consider labeling digital files and physical documents to help your White Plains car accident lawyer identify and sort through the information.
Taking Photos of Your Car Accident in New York
As mentioned, photos your car accident make excellent evidence of what happened. Photos can show the court the vehicle damage, allowing the judge and jury to see physical proof of who hit whom and how the crash occurred. Photos of the damage can also show how severe the crash was, and photos of the intersection or street where the crash occurred can help the jury determine fault.
If you are taking photos with your cell phone camera – which is the most common way these photos are taken – you might want to double check that your phone is set to take high-resolution photos. Especially if the accident happened at night, you might want to check your flash settings or look for a low-light mode to take photos with.
Photos should include a few important things:
- Wide shots establishing where the cars are in relation to one another
- Photos you can use to identify the vehicles involved
- Photos of the damage to each vehicle
- Photos of any injuries you faced
We have also noted some other things you can take pictures of, such as insurance cards or even the people involved in the crash.
Collecting Other Evidence After a NY Car Accident
There is additional evidence that can be collected in many cases. Our New York car accident lawyers will be able to go over the information you collected, collect police reports related to your crash, and potentially track down additional evidence. In many cases, our lawyers can send letters to nearby businesses and homes asking them to preserve any security camera footage they might have of the crash, and we may also be able to track down dash cam video or cell phone footage recorded by witnesses.
For a Free Case Review, Call Our NY Car Accident Lawyers Today
For help with a car accident case, call the Yonkers car accident injury attorneys at The Martello Law Firm today at (914) 685-6950. We offer free case reviews.