Collecting Evidence for Clarksburg Car Accident Litigation
When gathering evidence after a car accident, time is of the essence. If too much time passes before taking statements from witnesses or photographing the scene of the accident, their memories may not be as clear, and the evidence may be moved. A Clarksburg attorney should collect evidence as quickly as possible to ensure that physical proof is documented or preserved as it was at the time of the accident to build a solid case.
Items a Lawyer Might Collect
The first item a car accident attorney might collect as evidence before filing a Clarksburg car accident claim would be a copy of the West Virginia traffic crash report if one were prepared by a law enforcement officer. The crash report often includes information such as identification and contact information for the driver of the other vehicle.
The report could identify the possible circumstances that caused or contributed to the crash, and the officer investigating the accident may even identify who they believe to be at fault. These reports could also contain statements from everyone involved in the accident and eyewitnesses, making the traffic crash report a crucial piece of evidence in a Clarksburg car accident claim.
The attorney should also obtain statements from eyewitnesses themselves to document their observations before too much time has passed and essential details are forgotten.
Other evidence to collect following a Clarksburg car accident are photographs of the individual’s injuries and of the vehicles, which can demonstrate the severity of the crash and where the cars collided. The vehicles may also be inspected so that information can be gathered from the black boxes about the vehicles’ speeds, directions of travel, breaking activity, and other data that can reveal how the cars were being driven just before the accident.
Hiring an Accident Reconstructionist to Gather Information
An experienced attorney might collect evidence by hiring a car accident reconstructionist who can visit the scene, gather additional information, and render an opinion about how the wreck occurred. A reconstructionist may also take photographs of the scene of the accident, which may include skid marks that could be measured to potentially determine the speed of the vehicles prior to impact. They might also travel to the scene of the crash at the same time of the day to examine where the sun was in the sky and whether a driver was possibly blinded by the sun. For example, they would be able to determine if a driver’s view of a traffic control device, such as a stoplight or a stop sign, was obstructed or if there was any other factor that might have caused or contributed to the accident.
If someone was involved in an accident because their view was obstructed, and they wait several weeks to return to the scene and take photographs, the obstruction might have been removed in that time, and the attorney or investigator will never know that the obstruction was there. Evidence is best when fresh.
How Long Does it Take to Collect Evidence?
Traffic crash reports are often available within a day or two after a Clarksburg accident because investigating law enforcement officers try to complete them as soon as possible. However, the report could be delayed if someone involved in the crash was transported away from the scene by an ambulance and is unable to provide a statement. In these cases, the investigating officer may have to wait until that individual is physically and medically able to provide their account of the accident.
The traffic crash report could also be delayed if law enforcement wants to reconstruct the accident themselves, in which case they must find an expert and prepare their own summary in addition.
Clarksburg Car Accident Attorney
Once a Clarksburg attorney collects all the evidence in a car accident case, they may attempt to settle the claim with the insurance company. If unsuccessful, they may file suit to try to prove their case in court.
An attorney could provide guidance through the gathering of evidence and the litigation process afterward. Call to pursue further legal action today.