Preserving Evidence: the difference between winning and losing!
Jul 31, 2014
Accidents happen and when they do they happen fast. It is easy to get wrapped up in what just happened and overlook the importance of properly documenting the events. People think that they will never forgot what happened and who was there. Worse, people assume that the person at fault will be honest about what happened. By the time you realize that you do not remember every detail about the incident, it is too late to go back. When the insurance company tries to twist your words and memories, you start to doubt yourself. This happens all too often, but can be avoided if you take the proper precautions.
It has been said that a picture is worth a thousand words. Photos of a car accident scene can show what the accident scene looked like, the amount of damage to the cars, weather conditions, and where in the roadway the accident happened. This is all very useful information that your attorney would love to have. Also, telling someone you broke your leg and the amount of pain you felt is nothing compared to a picture of your mangled leg with a bone sticking out of it. Even if you did not get pictures of the scene or the same day as the accident, take pictures of whatever may be helpful as soon as possible.
There is a strong likelihood that you were not the only person at the scene of the accident. If you know of anyone else that was present, write down their name, address and phone number, even if it is someone you already know. This information should be available in the accident report, if police were called. Ask the witnesses to write a short summary of what they saw for your records. A year or two after the accident, they will not remember the details of the accident and will be able to look at their own summary to remind themselves. Remember, if the story of the person at fault is different than yours, a third party witness is the key to prove who is telling the truth. Also, the third party witness may have seen or heard something that you did not that may help strengthen your case.
Preserve Physical Evidence
Almost every accident leaves behind some evidence of the accident. This could be the shoes you were wearing when you fell, the clothes the ER doctors had to cut off, the bicycle that was run over or any other item involved in the accident. At some point, your attorney and opposing counsel will want to see these pieces of physical evidence. Having them will only greatly increase the strength of your case.
See A Doctor
Stating you had pain and complications after your accident means nothing if it is not in a medical report. Court cases lean strongly on a doctor’s notes, diagnoses and recommended treatment. You need these records to coincide with your statements of your injuries. Therefore, see a medical professional as soon as reasonably possible, make sure they are aware of all pain and issues you are having and follow their recommended treatment.
Have a journal
During your recovery you are going to see many different doctors, have various types of pain and suffering, miss various days of work, and not be able to do many daily tasks. As stated previously, memories fade with time. Keeping a journal of what doctors you have seen and when, what days you have missed from work, and what pains and limits you have dealt with because of your injuries will be useful. At some point, your lawyer will ask for all of this information. Having to create it after the fact, will inevitably leave out important details.
Talk With An Attorney ASAP!
Every case is unique but in all cases, time is of the essence. Having an attorney on board will help ensure that you protect all evidence and avoid making costly mistakes. Pedersen Law Office offers free consultations in all of our areas of practice and would be more than happy to meet with you and see how we can help you. Give us a call today! Our law office serves the communities of Appleton, Neenah, Menasha, Oshkosh, Green Bay and their surrounding areas.