5 Steps To Preserve Evidence After A Wisconsin Car Accident
As a Wisconsin personal injury law firm, we occasionally work with cases where some critical details are no longer available. To protect your best interests after a vehicle crash, we suggest you follow these steps to preserve valuable evidence that could help prove your case:
- Call local law enforcement and get authorized assistance at the scene. Police officers collect routine kinds of evidence as part of incident response. Not everyone thinks to collect the same pieces of information police officers collect, so you eliminate the risk of lost key evidence when police officers are called. However, there is still a chance that some evidence will be lost. Police officers do not document everything an attorney would like to have a report of simply due to the chaotic situations that present themselves at scenes. Nonetheless, some scene documentation is better than none at all.
- Give your full cooperation to the police investigation. You may be asked to give a statement, insurance information and other details officers deem important. Under normal circumstances, working with law enforcement can only help you. However, if you've been drinking, have a pending warrant for your arrest or are otherwise potentially involved in criminal conduct at the time of the incident, it may be better to contact a Wisconsin attorney before continuing the investigation with law enforcement.
- Take photographs of your vehicle. Photographs can be critical to successfully handling a car case. In many instances, police officers do not take photographs at all or take photographs that do not document key facts about damage to the involved vehicles. Often photographs are taken by police officers that serve only to handle the matter legally, not to serve the purposes of your case. We suggest that you get plenty of photographs of the vehicles at the scene. They are often available for a short period of time after the car accident at a local towing or impound yard.
- As soon as possible, request from law enforcement a copy of the report, any photographs they have, and a copy of the 911 recording. If you are present when this report is compiled, you will have a chance to address any discrepancies at the scene. Police can make mistakes, just like the rest of us. Mistakes can be easily corrected, especially shortly after the accident. It is also important to note that some law enforcement agencies do not retain records forever. Some law enforcement agencies retain 911 recordings for a short period of time, perhaps only 90-120 days.
- Document your injuries and treatment. We suggest you communicate all of your symptoms to your doctors and other medical professionals. Take regular photographs of your injuries. You may want to keep a journal documenting your symptoms, limitations, and activities you missed as a result of your injuries. Error on the side of over-documenting your injuries. You cannot go back in time after you have healed and prove the extent of your injuries without proper documentation. A Wisconsin personal injury lawyer will be able to better represent you with photographs, doctor’s notes and your own personal account.
If you have any questions, do not hesitate to contact Jason Studinski, an experienced Wisconsin attorney.
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