Gathering evidence might not be the first thing on your mind if you’ve been in an auto accident, but if no one requires urgent medical care, it pays to start collecting information immediately. Obtaining the telephone number of a witness or taking a picture at the scene might be the difference between a favorable result and an outcome that worsens your situation. A collision on a street, road or highway creates confusion among the parties involved and the onlookers. With so much going on, even well-meaning police officers might miss some information or record something incorrectly. Taking effective action gives your lawyer the best chance to achieve a favorable legal outcome.
- Record relevant information — Write down or record in your phone the name, address, phone number and insurance information of any other drivers involved in the accident. Seek out potential witnesses, even if they didn’t have a complete view of the crash, and get their contact information as well. Though you can obtain a police report later, it’s best to take down names of reporting officers immediately as a precaution.
- Take photos — Cellphones give everyone the opportunity to take clear photos of an accident scene. Even extraneous information might be crucial later on, such as the position of road signs or evidence of weather conditions. Make sure that all angles are covered and take notes so you can identify what’s in a particular shot.
- Don’t speculate as to fault — As a “no-fault” state, in Florida, many auto accident claims are made through each side’s own insurance company no matter who was at fault for the collision. However, some serious injuries can trigger legal action. No matter what you say, you cannot win your case at the scene, but you could say something that is harmful to your case. Whether you think you or the other driver was at fault, it’s best to keep those thoughts to yourself until you can speak with an attorney.
No case is a sure thing, but taking these simple steps can maximize the likelihood of a successful outcome to your legal claim.
Frank Charles Miranda, P.A. represents clients who are hurt in Florida auto accidents and by other instances of negligence. Please call 813-902-3925 or contact us online to make an appointment. Our office is located in Tampa.