When you file an auto accident lawsuit in SC, you have the burden of proof. The at-fault driver doesn't have to prove that they are not responsible for your injuries - you must prove that they are responsible.
Their insurance company knows this. So, while you are trying to build your case, they will be doing everything they can to undermine it.
The surest way to maximize your settlement offer, or to win your case at trial, is to collect as much evidence as possible. Your SC personal injury attorney at Axelrod and Associates will take on the responsibility of collecting most of the evidence you will need and deciding how best to present it.
But, you can also help gather evidence during the early stages, starting at the scene of the accident.
How Can I Help Collect Evidence for My Auto Accident Lawyer?
You can help to gather and preserve evidence for your case in two main areas - First, if possible, you can gather evidence immediately after the accident at the scene.
Second, although your attorney may also request medical records directly from the provider, you can help to ensure that your attorney has information about all medical providers and by making sure that you follow through with your medical appointments and recommended treatment.
What Evidence Should I Gather at the Accident Scene?
If you are able to do so without endangering yourself or others, collect:
- Photos: Take photos of the scene and of each vehicle involved in the accident. If there are any skid marks, photograph them. Take closeup shots of the damage to the vehicles and any other property at the scene. Also, take photos of any road conditions that may have contributed to the accident.
- Driver information: Write down the name address, license plate number, insurance information, and driver's license number of each driver involved in the accident. Ask if anyone was driving on behalf of their employer, and if they were, write down their employer's name and contact information.
- Witness information: Talk to anyone who saw what happened. Take notes on what they say, and ask them for the phone number, email address. Ask if they took any photos at the scene or if they have video of the accident or the aftermath.
Evidence Relating to Medical Care
Even if you don't receive medical care at the scene and you are not transported to a hospital, you should visit your doctor immediately after any auto accident.
You will need documentation of your injuries and treatment if you decide to file a lawsuit, and there may be delayed onset injuries that were not obvious immediately after the car wreck.
Keep records of all your health-care appointments, treatment, and payments. Also, ask your doctor for a copy of all your medical records related to the accident, including any x-rays, MRIs, or CT scans.
If your injuries prevent you from working, keep careful records of all missed wages.
What Evidence Will My Attorney Collect After a Car Wreck?
Your personal injury attorney will gather evidence through the discovery process and may use private investigators to gather information on witnesses or the defendant.
- Interrogatories: These are written requests that the defendant must answer under oath. Interrogatories can be used to find out details about the at-fault driver's behavior leading up to the accident, information on the vehicles, or any other information that may become an issue related to liability or damages at trial.
- Requests to produce: These are written requests for any documents, photos, video, audio, maps, or other evidence the defense may have.
- Requests to admit: Your attorney can draft written statements that the defendant must either admit or deny and that can be used against them at trial if necessary.
- Depositions: During depositions, your attorney can ask the at-fault driver and any witnesses questions under oath.
- Private investigators: Investigators can help gather information about the at-fault driver or any witnesses, or they can track down witnesses who are difficult to locate.
Your SC auto accident attorney at Axelrod and Associates will help you gather the evidence you need to establish liability and to collect damages for your current and future medical costs, missed earnings, property losses, and pain and suffering. Your attorney can also help you determine if collecting punitive damages is a possibility in your case.