Preserving Evidence in Los Angeles Car Accident Cases: Key Steps

May 7, 2024

Every year, Los Angeles streets witness a staggering number of car accidents, often leaving victims in urgent need of support to navigate their path to justice and compensation. Amid the chaos immediately following an accident, gathering and preserving evidence is crucial. Gathering the proper evidence can tip the scales in your favor, whether you’re dealing with courts or insurance companies. Let’s go through the critical steps you need to take to gather substantial evidence that strengthens your case and boosts your chances of getting the compensation you deserve.

Immediate Actions Post-Accident: Safety and Documentation

First and foremost, ensure your safety and that of any passengers. Once safe, it’s imperative to document the scene. Use your smartphone to take photos from multiple angles, capturing all vehicles involved, street signs, traffic signals, and any relevant road conditions or obstructions. These images serve as a factual recount of the scene before any vehicles are moved.

Witness Statements: The Human Element of Evidence

If bystanders witnessed the accident, their accounts can be invaluable. Approach witnesses and request their contact information. If they are willing, take a video statement of their account using your phone, ensuring they recount what they saw in as much detail as possible. Witness testimonies can provide perspectives that differ from the drivers’ and contribute significantly to understanding the event’s dynamics.

Police Reports: An Official Account

When law enforcement arrives, a police report will be filed. This report is a crucial piece of evidence as it includes the officer’s assessment of the accident and may note any traffic law violations. Make sure to collect the report number, the badge numbers, and the names of any responding officers at the accident scene. Later, obtain a copy of this report, as it will be critical for your lawyer when evaluating your case.

Medical Records: Documenting Your Injuries

If you’re hurt in a car crash, seeing a doctor right away is crucial for both your well-being and any legal actions you might take. Medical records are a cornerstone of any claim related to a car accident. These documents link the accident and your injuries, substantiated by a healthcare professional’s evaluation. Ensure you record all medical visits, treatments received, and discussions with healthcare providers.

Securing Surveillance Footage: A Different Perspective

In today’s digital age, many accidents are captured on surveillance cameras operated by nearby businesses or city traffic systems. Act quickly to secure this footage. You or your Los Angeles car accident lawyer can request these videos, which must be obtained soon after the incident before they are overwritten or deleted.

Electronic Data from Vehicles: The Unseen Witness

Modern vehicles have electronic data recorders, often called a car’s “black box.” These devices can record data such as speed, brake application, and seat belt usage during the accident. Accessing this data can require specialized knowledge and tools, typically handled by a professional.

Contact a Car Accident Lawyer at Krolikowski Law Firm

Remember, the evidence you preserve after a car accident forms the foundation of any legal claim you might pursue. Handling this correctly increases your chances of a favorable outcome, whether in court or through insurance settlements. If you are overwhelmed by the process or unsure of the steps to take, consider contacting The Krolikowski Law Firm. We’re here to help you navigate each step, ensuring your rights are protected and you receive the compensation you deserve.

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