Exploring Civil Case Proceedings

Exploring Civil Case Proceedings

2 Things You Should Do Immediately Following An Auto Accident

by Becky Freeman

If you are like most people, you might switch into autopilot mode after you are involved in a traffic accident. After you make sure everyone is safe and injury free, you might call the police to report the accident and snap a few photos of the wreck with your cell phone. Unfortunately, if the wreck wasn't your fault and there is a chance you might file a personal injury lawsuit, making the wrong moves after an accident could cost you your case. Here are two things you should do immediately following an auto accident, so that you can get what is rightfully yours in court:

1: Protect the Scene

Accident scenes can change fast—especially if the wreck happened at an intersection or another dynamic area. Unfortunately, is you don't actively work to keep things where they should be, evidence can wander away quickly, which could affect the quality of the police report. Here are a few things you can do to protect the scene:

  • Make Your Vehicle Visible: If the drivers around you don't know that you were actually involved in an accident, they might drive away—even after they saw that car behind you tailgating. To let people know that they should stick around or drive by slowly, try to make your vehicle more visible. Put on your emergency lights and pull your car over to the side of the road. In addition to helping you to snag witnesses, emergency responders and tow truck drivers might be able to pinpoint your position in a jiffy.  
  • Ask Witnesses to Stick Around: If you know that you weren't at fault, don't be shy about asking witnesses to stick around and tell their side of the story. The more corroborating accounts you have, the more solid your case will be in the courtroom. If witnesses need to leave before police arrive, whip out your cell phone and record a video of them telling their side of the story. Don't forget to ask them for their name, phone number, and address so that your lawyer can track them down later. 

Protecting the scene of the accident might only take a few minutes, but it can save you a lot of time later. The faster you can work with the police and gather witness accounts, the faster you can start working on your personal injury lawsuit and get on with your life.    

2: Jot Down Your Thoughts

After you have secured the scene of the accident, take the time to jot down your thoughts. If you don't have a piece of paper and a pen handy, use the notepad feature on your smartphone to document the accident. If you don't have a smartphone, text yourself a written version of the accident—while you still remember all of the details. Here are a few things you might want to pay attention to as you document your account:

  • Traffic Signals and Conditions: What color was the light in the intersection when you were rear-ended? What was the speed limit in the area? Was traffic heavy at the time? Documenting traffic signals and conditions might give police a clearer idea of what transpired, so that they can hold the guilty party accountable.
  • Dialogue: What did the other driver say to you when they first realized they hit your car? Did they apologize like they were at fault? Write down exactly what everyone said, so that you can show their attitude and intent later.

In addition to the details of the wreck being fresh on your mind, documenting the accident while you are still on the scene might help you to make a plan of action. For example, if you live in Kentucky, where the statute of limitations dictates that you only have one year to file a personal injury lawsuit, you might be able to gather what you need to talk with a lawyer right away.  

By taking a few minutes to protect the scene, gather your thoughts and notify an auto accident lawyer, you might be able to create a rock-solid case that will help you to receive the settlement that you deserve.


About Me

Exploring Civil Case Proceedings

Hello and welcome, I'm Winfred Paulo. I have a passion for civil court cases of all kinds. Some time back, I ended up in the thick of a civil case after a lengthy dispute with my neighbor. The dispute went on for years and ended badly with an incident that landed us both in court. We had to prove our side of the case in an effort to obtain a positive outcome and recoup our losses. Unfortunately, I lost the case due to a lack of evidence. Since then, I've maintain a strong interest in civil cases and their proceedings. I will share information about civil cases on this site to help others understand these proceedings better. I may talk about legal terms, and expected outcomes for each case type. I hope you visit often to learn more. Thanks for stopping by my website.