Tips for Preserving the Evidence of a North Carolina Car Accident
North Carolina car accidents occur all too often throughout the state. These range in severity from minor fender-benders to tragedies that take the lives of thousands of people yearly. Even a minor fender bender can cause the victim of the crash to suffer an injury known as whiplash, which rocks the head back and forth violently, leading to pain in the neck, shoulders, and head. If you ever find yourself unlucky enough to be involved in a car accident, there are some important things you need to take care of in the immediate aftermath.
These include remaining at the scene, calling 911, exchanging information, talking to the police and most importantly, preserving the evidence at the scene of the North Carolina car accident. The North Carolina car accident attorneys from Brown, Moore & Associates are here to answer all of your car accident questions so you know how to handle being involved in such a stressful situation.
NC Car Accident: Take Plenty of Pictures
In today’s day and age, it is highly unlikely that you will be in your car without your mobile phone by your side. Because of this, it is important to use it to preserve any evidence from the accident. Take plenty of pictures with your phone that you can then share with your insurance company, the other driver’s insurance company, and the police. Below is a list of some of the items you should take pictures of after a North Carolina car accident:
- Damage to all vehicles involved
- Debris scattered around the roadway
- Injuries to yourself and others in your car
- Blood-stained clothing or blood spots on the ground
- The road conditions (potholes, debris, fallen trees, ice, mud holes, snow)
- Out-of-order or damaged road signs
- Street signs and mile markers
- Damage to property other than the vehicles involved (fences, railings, sheds, houses, buildings, garages)
- The entire accident scene in one wide-angle photo
North Carolina Car Accident: Never Touch or Move Evidence
Many people have a first instinct to start kicking or moving debris out of the middle of the road following an accident. This is something you should never do. Firefighters, EMTs, and paramedics should not even do this until the police give them the all clear to begin clearing the road. Moving the evidence can hinder the investigation by the police and even lead to an incomplete accident report. If the accident is serious enough, such as one that causes a fatality, the evidence needs to be preserved so that an at-fault person can be pinpointed in the report and charges can be filed, if necessary.
Another reason why you should never move evidence is for your safety. The debris from vehicles that have collided can be dangerous. Cuts can result from picking up any debris. You could also hurt your back or other muscles trying to move heavy debris following an accident. Aside from the debris, you could wind up touching someone else’s blood when moving evidence.
Charlotte Car Accident: Speak to Witnesses
A lot of people do not realize that witnesses to car accidents are a form of evidence. If you notice a lot of people milling around the crash scene you need to ask them if they witnessed the crash. If they did, request that they stay at the scene until the police arrive so they can give officers their statement. A witness statement about a car accident can go a long way in helping officers determine fault and piecing together the stages of the crash.
Make sure that the people you think witnessed the accident actually did. You do not want to have someone give a statement to police who did not see the entire crash, was distracted when the crash occurred, or was not even present at the time of the crash. Ask the potential witnesses how much they saw and if they saw enough to speak with police. A witness statement can easily be thrown out in court if the testimony is not thorough or seems to be fabricated.
Charlotte NC Car Accident: Take Notes Relatively Soon
Another important thing you can do in an effort to preserve the evidence of a car accident in Charlotte NC is to take notes. Don’t wait for days and weeks to pass before you write down what happened in the crash. This will hinder your ability to remember the exact events that led up to the accident.
If you have a notepad and pen in your car take notes soon after the crash. Do this after taking pictures of the scene for use as evidence by your personal injury attorney.
When taking notes, make sure you write down as much as possible about the crash and be descriptive. Write down the time of day, road, location, road conditions and who was in your vehicle. The more you are able to write down, the better you will be able to remember the crash.
Charlotte, North Carolina Car Accident: The Police Report
The police report is important and you must preserve following a Charlotte, North Carolina car accident. The minute you know the police report is complete, purchase multiple copies of it from the law enforcement agency. This could be a local police department or the state police depending on jurisdiction. The police report, combined with other evidence, will help your attorney build a strong case. It will also help the insurance company determine the amount of compensation you deserve.
North Carolina Car Accident Attorneys — Brown, Moore & Associates
If you or a loved one has been injured in a North Carolina car accident it is in your best interest to contact the experienced team at Brown, Moore & Associates to discuss your case. With more than 40 years practicing law, our team has handled car accidents, truck accidents, motorcycle accidents and more. Contact the office today to schedule your initial consultation.