Why should you consider hiring an attorney following the serious car accident that left you injured? The short answer is that an experienced car accident attorney will get you the largest possible settlement for your injuries, property damage, and pain and suffering.
Your attorney will investigate the accident to make sure that the fault is assigned as it should be and he will explore every avenue of potential compensation for you.
If you are recovering from serious injuries, you will need someone out there doing the legwork to secure your claim while you're at home.
The First Step to any Car Accident Claim Is Gathering Evidence
When you are seriously injured in a car accident, the sooner you call an attorney, the better. This is because the first step in preparing a strong accident claim is gathering evidence at the scene of the accident and that evidence will be more difficult to collect as time passes. Types of evidence a car crash investigator will collect include the following:
- Photos taken at the time of the accident,
- Tire markings on the pavement,
- Footage from any traffic or security cameras in the area,
- Photos of the area, including traffic signs and signals, pedestrian walkways, and area homes or businesses,
- Repair reports and photos of damaged vehicles,
- Contact information for any and all witnesses and participants,
- Police reports.
Your Attorney Analyzes the Evidence to Determine Who’s At Fault for the Accident
Once this evidence is gathered, your attorney will consult experts to interpret the evidence and determine exactly what happened in the accident. Sometimes, the services of an accident reconstructionist will be secured. This expert can analyze evidence and create a video that reproduces the events of the accident. This piece of evidence can be a powerful tool in determining fault and awarding compensation. An accurate analysis of solid evidence can provide answers to the following questions that are vital to any car accident claim:
- Who caused the accident?
- Was the at-fault driver impaired?
- Was the at-fault driver using a cellphone or otherwise distracted?
- Did road or weather conditions contribute to the accident?
- Did the victim contribute in any way to the crash?
Interviewing Witnesses Is Vital to Any Successful Claim
Your attorney will also go over any witness statements from the scene and conduct interviews with key witnesses if needed. As the victim, there may be important details that you were either unaware of or forgot in the aftermath of the crash. Others at the scene could provide valuable information to help your case. If you or a passenger is able, it is a good idea to collect names and phone numbers of witnesses at the time of the crash, but if this is not possible, your attorney should be able to get the information from the police report. Even if officers at the scene interviewed witnesses, your attorney may have specific questions for them that the officer on the scene didn’t ask.
An Attorney Can Correct a Police Report When Necessary
One of the most important pieces of evidence in your claim will be the police report. Insurance adjusters rarely question the accuracy of a police report, so it’s up to you and your attorney to make sure it accurately reflects what happened. Using a worksheet at the scene, officers who are trained in auto accident assessment investigate the scene and talk to drivers, victims, and witnesses. They then write up an official report back at the station. Police reports include the information such as names of those involved, a narrative description of what happened, and diagrams of the scene.
Police officers at the scene are often under pressure and may be rushed. They can and do make mistakes on accident reports and it is important to your claim that you get the report corrected as quickly as possible. Understand that officers do not like to be corrected, however, and this must be handled professionally and respectfully. Your attorney will be equipped to take the best approach to correcting a police report. He will present the evidence he has gathered and go through the appropriate channels to see that the report is accurate.
Your Attorney’s Best Asset Is Their Knowledge of the Law
An attorney will be aware of any statutes of limitations that apply to your case and will know how to pursue every possible source of compensation. Insurance companies are not eager to part with their money and a qualified and experienced attorney knows how to work around that. Along with making claims for property damage and injury, an attorney can also help you pursue claims for general damage such as pain and suffering and mental anguish, something that is very difficult to do without representation.
Have You Been Injured In A Kansas City Area Car Accident?
If you've been injured in a car accident you need to speak with an experienced car accident lawyer as soon as possible. Contact us online or call our Kansas City office directly at 816.471.5111 to schedule your free consultation.