When you get involved in a car accident, the first thing that you should consider is your physical safety. When you’re physically able, you should also check on the safety of other people involved in the accident. Once you ensure that everyone’s safe, the next logical thing to do is gather pieces of damning evidence to prove the other party’s guilt. You need this to get compensated for the damages and injury you incurred.
According to the seasoned lawyers of McLachlan Law, material evidence and testimonies of witnesses are crucial to your claims. This is why you should take these matters seriously. Seek the help of a legal representative so they can gather evidence on your behalf, draft your complaint, and fight the case in court.
Here’s how to ensure full and fair compensation after a car accident.
Document the accident
No one wants the accident to happen. That’s why it’s hard to point fingers without proof. The law acknowledges the absence of intent to cause harm in accidents; that’s why it’s only a civil offense. However, if there’s material proof of wanton intent to cause harm, that could be a ground for criminal prosecution.
Regardless of the nature of the case, you need to gather enough proof that the other party is at fault. Showing that they’re partly responsible for the accident won’t be enough. You need to present the case in a way that you’re not guilty of contributory negligence. In the latter, you will lose your chance of claiming full compensation. The court will lessen the amount you prayed for to reflect your own culpability.
What evidence do you need? First, you need to secure an official copy of the police report. This is why you need to phone the police immediately after the crash. They need to investigate the case and draft a report after. Secure a copy of this report. After which, get a copy of your medical bill. If the doctor requires you to undergo a specific treatment or therapy, go for it. You need the bill and prescriptions to justify your claims.
Support other damages you suffered
In accidents, physical damages are easily proven. Since they’re tangible, you can take photos and attach the same to your complaint affidavit. However, this is not the only injury that accident victims suffer. What’s worse than physical pain are psychological and emotional traumas. It’s common for accident victims to feel anxious about their physical safety.
You can claim compensation for these intangible injuries. If you’re wondering how you can validly assert them, you need the help of medical professionals. Seek help from a psychologist and let them assess your mental state. If you indeed suffered from trauma, they can write a report explaining your condition.
You can use this written assessment when asserting damages against the at-fault party. The medical professional’s words are considered hard evidence of your mental anguish and trauma allegation.
Look for witnesses
Aside from documentary evidence, you can also support your case by swearing in witnesses. Just ensure that these witnesses were present at the time of the accident. Their narrative should be that of someone who witnessed the event first hand. If they just heard about it from somebody else, then they couldn’t be counted as a credible witness.
As soon as you find the right witness willing to make an affidavit and testify in court, secure their testimony. The said affidavit needs to be notarized to be considered a public document. Later on, you can use this testimony as evidence in court. Brief your witness that they might be called by the court to narrate the story when the case progresses into a full-blown trial.
Work with a lawyer
The wisest decision you can ever make when you want to be compensated fully and fairly is to hire a lawyer. Yes, you may be knowledgeable in the law. However, these legal aids are skilled in procedural and substantive processes.
They are also adept in rules of evidence, so they would know which proof is admissible or not. With a trustworthy lawyer around, you improve your chances of winning the case.