Evidence to Gather After a Car Accident Happens in Arizona
Video Transcript: Gathering Evidence
Most people don’t get in them very frequently and, so having been involved in an accident, it’s very difficult for some people to put together, what should I do next. Well, we’re going to walk through some of that. First and foremost, you should call our office.
We deal with accident cases, we help people who’ve been injured get the proper recovery that they need and, if you do call us, great, we’re going to walk you through almost all of this for you.
But, if you don’t want to call an attorney, if you want to start working on the claim yourself, these are some of the things that you’re going to want to look into. First and foremost, you want to get the accident exchange form.
This is a form that all police in Arizona have. The Department of Public Safety, the Phoenix PD, any agency should have some sort of information exchange form. They’re going to put your information on it, they’re going to put the other party or parties’ information on there, and they’re going to exchange that between everybody involved.
That’s so that we can get that document, file a claim with the other insurance providers. It’s very important, you’re going to want to get that. That’s the starting point for any investigation into an accident. The next thing that’s very important is to get the actual accident report.
So when the police show up to an accident, they will usually write a report, not always but most of the times, they will write a report. They’ll do an accident diagram, they’ll write vehicle one rear ended vehicle two, and it’s very generic most of the time.
They’re not bringing out a real complicated, accident reconstructionist or anything unless there’s a catastrophic loss, somebody dies or there’s a very serious criminal investigation with some massive injuries.
That will result in somebody coming out who has a little bit more experience with accidents. But, for the most part, police just don’t put a lot of resources into them. That being said, there will be a police report or an accident report in the majority of cases, and so you want to get that.
You need to know what agency responded, so different agencies have different protocols. The Department of Public Safety, for example, they’ll charge you for certain things. The Phoenix Police Department, for most things, they won’t charge you, they just put it on the Internet, but you have to call and get your report number, and all that stuff.
If you want to work with us, we’ll get all that for you. The next thing that’s important to know is, if you were taken to the hospital or you were taken in an ambulance, or you went to the emergency room afterwards, you want to start making sure that you have all of that documentation gathered and available.
It’s important to know where you went, who transported you there, what doctors you saw, what treatments they performed on you because this is the beginning of your claim. This is where the injuries started, and we want to make sure we have all that documented and readily available. Other things that are important. We’ve got three line items for pictures. Pictures are so important.
Pictures of your injuries. So if you have time, if you have family members or loved ones who were there, make sure they’re taking pictures of your injuries, bruises, scrapes, burns. You want to look at anything that’s much more severe.
If they’re doing surgeries and those types of things, you want pictures of that. Pictures, as they say, speak for 1000 words. You can look at somebody’s injuries through a picture and understand that pain and that suffering that they went through, and what a catastrophic loss it is, much more easily than you can from just a written paragraph.
So make sure you’re getting pictures of your injuries. Next thing, pictures of the accident scene. So we want to look what was around at the time of the accident. Was there construction, were there pedestrians, were there schools, were there businesses, what was the weather like?
There’s a lot of information that we can gather from a picture that the police are not going to put in their report. So, if you have pictures from that scene, make sure that those are being saved.
People will often take pictures and then lose them for some reason. Make sure this stuff is getting backed up to the cloud. Make sure you put it on a thumb drive, off-site, make sure it’s being saved. We’re going to want those pictures.
And finally, the third items of pictures that we want, of the car. So let’s get some pictures of the car, not only the outside of the vehicle. Most people will take pictures of the outside of the vehicle.
We want pictures of the inside as well. What happened when the vehicle was hit? Did the inside of it crumple? Did the steering wheel move up into your face? Did the compartment for your legs, was that compressed?
What actually happened inside the vehicle as well as outside the vehicle? So, if your vehicle’s been removed, if it’s towed back to your residence or an impound lot, make sure you’re taking pictures of the inside and the outside of the vehicle.
Next, we want to make sure we’re getting all other evidence that the police have in their possession, so things like the 911 call can be very, very helpful. Things like bodycam footage, dashcam footage from the police, and we also want to see if there’s any other businesses nearby who may have been able to capture the accident on their security cameras.
Sometimes this is applicable, sometimes it’s just not. Sometimes the businesses, by the time we get to them, have already written over the video footage, or they just store it for 24 hours or 48 hours, and so it’s no longer available but, if it is available, all of these things can be very helpful in filing a claim, and remember most of the time the police, they’re not looking into this stuff.
So, you want to go into it and really request it all. Most of the time, the police are not listening to the 911 calls. Insurance agencies are not listening to the bodycams. We want to do that so that we can pull out the bits and pieces that help substantiate our claim.
We also want anybody who was there as an independent witness. So independent witnesses are people who are not involved in the accident, so people who are pedestrians, people who were sitting on the patio having dinner witnessing the accident.
If any of those people have been named in the police report, we want to make sure we get them, but oftentimes what will happen is they will come up to somebody as a result of witnessing the accident, give them a business card or exchange information, and say I saw all of that.
We want to make sure we have all of their information, contact information, documented so we can reach out to them to get a statement. And finally, it’s important that you start putting together a list of your medical providers, both before the accident and anybody that you’re seeing after the accident. We want to know who your primary care physician was.
We want to know about any prior injuries that you have. We want to know who you’re seeing as a result of the accident, what type of pain are you experiencing. Are you going to chiropractors? Are you going to get massages?
We want to know all of that, what happened as a result of the accident, how is that impacting your daily life? These are the nine things that we want to request in any car accident case.
There are many other things that we do want to request, but this is really to help you, if you have not hired an attorney to help you with some of this stuff. You want to make sure you’re getting these nine bullet points. These are the main ones. So, if you have been involved in an accident, we’re happy to help. We offer free case evaluations.
We only take a fee if we’re able to recover for you. If we’re not able to help, we don’t take a dime. We don’t take any fee unless we’re able to substantially help you recover and put you in a much better position than you’re in currently.
So give our office a call.
We offer free case evaluations like I said.
We look forward to speaking with you soon.
Thanks for watching.
Evidence to Gather After a Car Accident Happens in Arizona
Being involved in an accident can feel like a whirlwind, and your physical well-being and safety is always the priority.
However, once it is assured that you are safe and secure, it is also important to protect yourself from liability and further loss. Unfortunately, it can be very unclear exactly how this can be done.
The first thing that anyone should do is to contact a car accident attorney. This will be the easiest and most efficient way to handle a claim, and it will also help you reach the best possible outcome given the circumstances.
If you don’t want to contact an attorney and would rather handle the claim yourself, here are some key things you will want to gather as evidence to support your claim and protect yourself from undue liability.
Accident Exchange Form
All police departments have an official information exchange form. This form is very important for filing a claim with the insurance providers, as it will contain key information that all the parties involved will need.
In most cases, the police will write an official report of the accident. Unless it was a serious incident involving catastrophic loss, the report will usually be relatively plain and not written in great detail.
However, it is important to know which agency responded to the accident, and the insurance providers will want a copy of the official report because it will contain relevant information in evaluating your claim.
If you are taken to the hospital, whether it be by ambulance or by other means, you will want to gather that documentation and have it available.
You should preserve as much of this information as possible, such as where you went, how you were transported, who you were treated by and what the actual treatments were.
This is essentially the starting point of your claim, and you will want to know all the pertinent information so you can effectively recuperate what was lost as a result of the accident.
Pictures of Injuries
If you have time and are able, you should try to take as many pictures of your injuries as possible. This would include bruises, scrapes, burns, and any other type of injury resultant of the accident. If you undergo any surgeries ensuing from the accident, you will want that documentation as well.
It is much more effective to communicate how serious your injuries were through pictures than just a written record.
Pictures of Accident Scene
Pictures of the accident scene will lend a more accurate understanding of what the circumstances were surrounding the incident. Pictures will help shed some light on some important factors such as whether there was construction on the road, nearby pedestrians, nearby schools or businesses, and what the weather was like. A lot of this information won’t be included in the police report, but will support your claim, so it is important to gather as much of this information as possible.
Pictures of Your Car (Inside & Out)
Most people only take pictures of the damage outside their vehicle, but you will want pictures of the inside as well. Information such as whether the inside of your car was crumpled, if you were hit by the steering wheel, if the leg compartment was compressed, etc. is all important information when filing your claim.
All Evidence Police Have
There are other pieces of evidence that will want, such as the recording of the 9-1-1, body cam footage, or dash cam footage. If there were any businesses nearby that happened to catch the accident on any security cameras, you will want that information as well. These will all be extremely helpful in filing your claim and should be collected if possible.
Names of Independent Witnesses
If there was anyone that was present at the accident, but was not involved, their information will be very valuable. This could mean any pedestrians, nearby businesses, nearby residents, or anyone who was around to witness the accident.
The statements of independent witnesses can be critical to the strength of your claim.
Pre & Post-Accident Medical Providers
It will be important to put together a list of medical providers that you were seeing before and after the accident.
Useful information would be who your primary care physician was, any prior injuries you may have had, which care provider you are seeing as a result of the accident, what type of pain you are experiencing, if you are going to chiropractors, etc.
You will essentially want to provide documentation to show how you have been affected by the incident, and what care or treatment was needed as a result of the accident.