What Kind Of Evidence Should I Gather At The Scene Of The Car Accident?

Collecting evidence at the scene is crucial if you’re involved in a car accident in Atlanta, Georgia. This evidence plays a vital role in supporting your claim and ensuring you receive fair compensation. At Morain & Buckelew, LLC, we understand how overwhelming it can be in the aftermath of an accident, but gathering the correct information is critical. Here’s what you need to know.

​​Comprehensive Guide to Evidence Collection at a Car Accident Scene

  1. Photographic Evidence:
    1. Vehicles: Take detailed pictures of all vehicles involved, focusing on areas of damage.
    2. Surroundings: Photograph the accident scene, including traffic signs, road conditions (such as skid marks, debris, and road defects), and any landmarks.
    3. Injuries: If possible, photograph visible injuries sustained by you or any passengers.
    4. Weather and Lighting Conditions: Capture the weather conditions and lighting at the time of the accident, as these can influence the accident dynamics.
  2. Contact Information: Obtain the names, addresses, phone numbers, and insurance details of all drivers involved. Collect contact information from anyone who witnessed the accident. Their testimony can be invaluable in corroborating your account of the event.
  3. Medical Records: If you or your passengers receive medical attention at the scene, keep a record of this. Document all subsequent medical treatments, including hospital visits, physical therapy, medications, and any other related healthcare services.
  4. Personal Notes: Write down everything you remember about the accident as soon as possible. Include the time, direction of travel, speed, traffic conditions, and any other relevant details. Note any statements made by other drivers or witnesses at the scene.
  5. Video Footage: In the digital age, visual evidence has become increasingly significant in car accident cases. Two key sources of this evidence are dashcam footage and surveillance cameras.
    1. Dashcam Footage: If your car or another vehicle involved has a dashcam, save the footage immediately.
    2. Surveillance Cameras: Check for nearby businesses or traffic cameras that might have captured the accident.
  6. Vehicle Damage Assessment: Have a professional mechanic inspect your vehicle for damages. This report can provide an unbiased assessment of the damage and the potential costs for repair.
  7. Environmental and Contextual Information:
    1. Traffic and Road Conditions: Note the traffic conditions, road quality, visibility, and any peculiarities like potholes or obscured traffic signs.
    2. Weather Reports: Obtain a weather report for the time of the accident, as adverse weather conditions can be a contributing factor.
  8. Legal Documentation: Ensure you have your insurance documentation handy. Exchange this information with the other drivers involved.
  9. Witness Statements: If witnesses agree, record their accounts of the accident using a smartphone.

The Role of Police Reports in Georgia

  • Creating an Official Record: When the police arrive at an accident scene in Georgia, they conduct an initial investigation. This includes speaking to drivers, passengers, and witnesses, examining the scene, and sometimes making determinations about who may be at fault based on this preliminary assessment.
  • Content of the Report: A typical police report will include:
    • The date, time, and location of the accident.
    • The names, contact information, and insurance details of all involved parties.
    • Statements from drivers, passengers, and witnesses.
    • The officer’s observations and findings, including any evidence of traffic law violations or other contributing factors.
    • Diagrams or sketches of the accident scene.
    • Weather, road conditions, and lighting at the time of the accident.
    • Information about any citations or charges filed.
  • Determining Fault: While the police report does not definitively establish legal liability, it provides an authoritative account of the officer’s perspective on the accident. This can include who they believe was at fault based on their investigation. This aspect of the report is often given significant weight by insurance companies and in legal proceedings.
  • Insurance Claims: Insurance companies rely heavily on police reports to assess claims. The report’s details can influence the insurance adjuster’s decision regarding fault and the settlement offer. In disputed cases, the report can be a crucial piece of evidence.
  • Legal Proceedings: If a car accident case goes to court in Georgia, the police report can be a vital piece of evidence. Attorneys may use the information contained in the report to establish the facts, question witnesses, or argue for or against the fault.

We are here to help! Call us Today.

Gathering evidence at the scene of a car accident is a critical step in protecting your rights and interests. At Morain & Buckelew, LLC, we use this evidence to build a compelling case on your behalf. If you’ve been in a car accident in Atlanta, Georgia, remember to collect as much information as possible and contact us for legal support. Morain & Buckelew, LLC is here to support and guide you every step of the way. We’ll use the evidence you gather to fight for your deserved compensation. Reach out to us for dedicated legal assistance. Call today at (404) 448-3146 or online.