How Can I Help Gather Evidence for My California Personal Injury Claim?March 28, 2021
At Law Offices of Frank M. Nunes Inc, our personal injury attorneys in Fresno understand that no one plans to be injured in a traffic collision in California, so creating a plan to gather evidence afterward seems to counter staying safe, or at the very least, like focusing on misfortune.
The reality is, it is always better to be proactive after a car, truck, or motorcycle collision in Fresno County, Kings County, Kern County, Madera County, Merced County, or Tulare County to best prepare for a personal injury claim that will allow you to pursue the medical care and time away from work you need without paying for the expenses associated with the crash out of pocket.
Here are a few tips for identifying, collecting, and preserving physical evidence after being injured in a traffic collision in Fresno.
What is Considered Physical Evidence in a Fresno Personal Injury Claim?
Physical evidence is tangible items that will help build your case.
They may include:
- Witness statements
- Police reports
- Medical records
- Receipts, insurance documents, and/or medical bills from all physician visits
- Written journal recounting your accident and day to day challenges
Never throw anything away after a vehicle collision, including the clothes you were wearing at the time of the crash, as the smallest piece of evidence may help build your case.
Why Are Witness Statements Important After a Traffic Collision in Fresno?
Gathering a list of witnesses and their contact information will allow your car accident attorney in Fresno to interview these individuals to get their account of the crash that will help support our case.
Take Photographs and Video of the Crash Scene and Your Injuries
If you are physically capable of staying behind after the crash and do not have to be transported immediately by ambulance to the closest medical facility, be sure to take pictures and/or video of the crash scene and your injuries.
Photo documentation of the accident scene and your injuries should be taken from different angles while also ensuring the date and time stamp is available for the printed versions.
If Possible, Do Not Leave the Scene of the Crash Without a Completed Police Report
Police reports are a crucial piece of evidence that can be helpful in settlement negotiations.
If your injuries will allow, stay behind until a law enforcement officer arrives to fill out a complete accident report that we can request a copy of later for our records.
Some police departments will not take a report unless one of the injured parties is transported by ambulance to a hospital. In those situations, make sure to get as much information about the other driver and care owner as possible. You then contact the local police department to make a “counter report” where you go to the police station and fill out a report. Some police departments allow accident victims to complete these reports on line. If you are not sure which police department handles the area of your accident, reach out to one of our personal injury attorneys at Law Offices of Frank M. Nunes Inc and we can help you.
Receipts, Insurance Documentation, and Medical Bills from Physician Visits
Once you seek medical care, the financial requirements necessary to treat your complete injuries will become apparent and must be accounted for later to ensure we are pursuing the best outcome for your unique personal injury claim.
Be sure to keep all receipts from out-of-pocket expenses, including prescriptions, crutches, or other medical needs, insurance documentation for the care you pursued using your coverage, and any medical bills that resulted from your injuries.
Your Medical Records Will Help Tell Your Personal Injury Story
Medical records including diagnosis reports, lab results, or discharge instructions must be requested by you personally, or your representative. They will tell the story of how severe your injuries are, and how your physicians are outlining your care requirements.
Keep in mind, the insurance company will also request your medical records but will need your written permission to access them. Do not sign any paperwork submitted by the insurance company without having your personal injury attorney review them first.
Keep an Accident Notebook to Capture Each Detail of Your Injuries and Challenges from the Crash
Your personal narrative of the accident should be recorded right away, so all the details of the crash are fresh in your memory.
Write down anything you might remember from the collision, your ongoing medical conditions and treatment, and how the accident is impacting your day-to-day personal and professional life.
Be sure to date your entries and be honest.
What is the Best Way to Preserve All the Evidence from My Fresno Crash?
Gathering evidence is an important part of your claim, but so is preserving it, so it can be used during our negotiations with the insurance company.
Physical evidence can easily get lost, deteriorate, or be repaired after your accident.
For instance, if you are injured due to hazardous conditions on someone’s property, preserving the evidence in photos will ensure that we can capture the actual circumstances that caused your injuries before the owner has time to fix the hazard, as though it never existed.
Back up your images or videos on a separate device, or in the cloud, to ensure that even if you lose your phone, the evidence remains behind.
Do the same with witness statements, even if they are in print. Copy and preserve them in a secondary location, so you have access to them later.
Keep all receipts, documents, and medical information in the same file and in a safe place.
What Else Can I Do to Help Build My Fresno Personal Injury Claim for Success?
The most important thing you can do to help build your personal injury claim is to receive all the follow-up care necessary, including doctor’s appointments, surgeries, prescription and medical device use, and rehabilitation and therapy needs, and follow all your medical provider’s instructions in full.
Next, do not talk to anyone about your personal injury claim, and steer clear of social media until your case is resolved, so your statements are not taken out of context and used against you later.
Finally, do not speak to the insurance company without an attorney.
If you have been injured in an accident of any type, contact our experienced personal injury attorney in Fresno at Law Offices of Frank M. Nunes Inc today by calling 559.436.0850 or contact us online to schedule a free consultation.