When evidence of the other party’s negligence is preserved, your personal injury car accident case is more likely to be successful in getting the compensation you deserve. Both evidence gathered from the accident scene and that which you collect afterwards are critical. You will also want to retain a car accident lawyer in Oshawa or Whitby as soon as possible for guidance on your specific case.
If you sustain physical injury from the car accident, call the ambulance or go to your doctor right away for medical attention. The ambulance report will document your most significant visible injuries and the ambulance attendant could also later be called upon to be a witness to observations after the accident.
Do not forget to also contact the police if you or anyone else was injured. They will investigate the accident and prepare an official report. You can expect the officer to take statements from each party present at the scene of the accident. The officer may also draw a diagram on his or her notepad. Charges may or may not be laid against parties who appear to have broken the law. It is beneficial for your car accident case if the other party is charged and convicted and you are not.
Ask for the other driver’s name, contact details, license, insurance information and vehicle make, model and license plate number. You cannot rely on the police to share this information with you, and you may not be able to get a copy of the police report for a while if there are pending charges.
If you are able to gather contact information from any witnesses at the crash scene it may prove to be valuable, as your personal injury lawyer may contact them at a later date, if needed.
Take photographs at the scene of the crash as they can be extremely beneficial later, showing information such as the weather and road conditions, whether there were any skid marks from trying to stop, the final position of the vehicles and any vehicle debris. Even using a cell phone camera, this evidence may reveal clues about the direction the vehicles were travelling and their speed. Debris, such as brake lines or shredded tires could indicate a manufacturer defect or any other contributing factors. Photos taken with varying distances and from different angles can provide information about the surrounding area, such as the distance from an important traffic sign, private driveway, road or intersection.
If you are too injured to take photographs, then ask a friend, family member or a witness to take photos of the accident scene for you right away. There could be tire markings, shattered glass, broken off auto parts, or blood stains on the road that will get cleaned up or could get washed away by the elements if you go back yourself instead later.
Take photos or videos of your injuries, including some close ups and from different angles, to assist both your family physician and your car accident lawyer in helping you.
Have damage to your property documented before it is repaired or replaced. Photographs and a mechanic`s assessment of the extent of the damage caused by the accident can help to establish how the accident happened and the severity of the impact. Photographs should include damage to the vehicle and to any of your personal effects (e.g., torn or bloodied clothing, glasses).
Keep a journal related to the car accident, where you start by recording your own narrative of the accident while it is fresh. This record can help you to remember details for interrogatories or an examination for discovery. You also need to record all medical appointments and treatments. A record of your out-of-pocket expenses incurred can be kept in the journal (e.g., transportation receipts, attendant care services, child care services if you are now unable to care for your children, housekeeping and home care services).
Seek a copy of your medical records, including exam and test results (e.g., x-rays, scans) whenever possible as these are key in proving your injuries. Obtain recommended treatment and consult with your family doctor, specialists and other professionals regularly (who must keep records of your visits and condition) - this shows that you are fulfilling your positive duty to seek the proper care and advice on your condition.
Having too little direct evidence can make it difficult for your car accident lawyer in Oshawa or Whitby to prove your case. Although it can still shape your claim, evidence that is implied or is suggestive is considered circumstantial and is often insufficient to prove the at-fault party`s liability.
Without the proper evidence, your insurer might argue that your accident injuries have healed or that your injuries were pre-existing or unrelated to the accident, or that your time off from work was similarly unrelated. This is what happened in Morgan v. Saquing, 2015 ONSC 2647 (CanLII). After a car accident that led to Mr. Morgan, a physical education teacher, being off work for four years, the court awarded him at total of only $15,000 for his pain and suffering.
Mr. Morgan sought compensation for past income loss (of $102,330) and future income loss (of a range between $436,420 and $1,197,521), but there was no evidence that Mr. Morgan had even consulted a medical professional about his decision to take time off of work due to his injuries. Mr. Morgan sought general damages (of between $50,000 and $75,000) as he was unable to prove that his injuries were caused by the accident or that they caused substantial interference with his ability to perform his usual daily activities or to continue with his regular employment.
At our law firm, a personal injury accident lawyer in Oshawa or Whitby can help you to gather that evidence needed to fight and win your case. We have over 40 years of combined experience in representing satisfied clients. We charge only if we recover funds for you. When you need a car accident lawyer in Whitby or Oshawa, contact us at KSB at 905-579-5302.