THE FOUR BEST FORMS OF EVIDENCE TO GATHER AFTER AN ACCIDENT

Car accidents are disorienting and scary. However, the moment immediately following a crash is the best time to collect evidence of what occurred during the crash and who might have been at fault. Once you've confirmed that everyone is ok, begin to gather evidence of what occurred that led to the crash. 

  1. Take lots of pictures at the site of the crash

Taking lots of photos, from multiple angles and viewpoints, might be the best way to gather evidence after a crash. This is where the camera on your phone can come in very handy. Document the damage to your car and to the other car, both as the cars were situated after the wreck, and close up. Take photos of any skid marks on the road that could indicate when the cars involved started to apply their brakes (it might help to do so in panoramic, to show both the skid marks and where the cars ultimately ended up). Photograph the position of the cars in relation to any signal lights or stop signs, and even the viewpoint of both drivers, which could support (or disprove) claims that the other car was not visible to them. If you notice the other driver start to leave the scene, and can react quickly enough, try to take a photo of their license plate before they disappear, in order to later track them down.

  1. Obtain witness contact information

You already know how important it is to exchange information with the other driver in an accident-in fact, it's required under New Jersey Law. It is also highly important that you speak with anyone near the scene of the crash who may have witnessed the accident. Having an objective third party testify in support of your version of events could prove vital in bolstering your credibility.

  1. Write down the conditions at the time of the crash

While they're still fresh in your mind, write down the circumstances in which the crash occurred: the time of day, who was in the car and what occurred immediately before the crash, whether the sun was in your eyes, how fast you were driving, and whether there were any noteworthy roadway conditions (i.e., that the road was slick from a recent rain storm, that there was a deep pothole in the road with a great deal of loose gravel, etc.).

  1. Get a copy of the police report

In the state of New Jersey, you are obligated to notify the police of an accident where there has been an injury or death, or where there is property damage of $500 or more, and failing to do so could result in the imposition of a fine. You will also need to file your own report using an official form. Having a police officer investigate the accident will also result in an official written report describing the accident, which will serve as a reliable source of evidence to provide to your insurance company or attorney to use at trial.

The best way to ensure you recover as much as possible is to contact an experienced personal injury attorney. Even if your car accident claim doesn't go to trial, having an attorney to advocate on your behalf before the insurance company can help ensure you receive all compensation owed to you. For a free consultation on your New Jersey car accident claim, call the Morristown law firm of Smith & Doran at 973-292-0016.

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