If you’ve been involved in a road traffic accident that wasn’t your fault then it’s quite likely you’ll be entitled to a claim. However, for your road traffic accident claim to have the best chance of success, you need to be able to provide sufficient evidence to back it up. The best place to start collecting this is at the scene of the accident.
This is the best way to start when gathering evidence. If you can, you should take pictures of the accident immediately after it’s taken place. Luckily, most of us carry phones with built-in digital cameras and picture phone photos should easily suffice.
One thing you should be concentrating on is the view that both you and the third party had when approaching the accident scene. This is probably the most effective way of helping an impartial inquiry establish fault. It’s also very useful to capture an overall view of the road lay-out, focussing on any road markings or traffic signs that may have be relevant to the accident. Try and make these as clear as possible.
Creating a record of debris on the road is also necessary. However, it’s not the debris itself that you need to focus on, but rather its position on the road. Ensure that you do not clear it from the road or move it until you have a photographic record, taken from a good distance so you can tell its relation to the road and possibly even vehicles.
In addition, skid or tire markings on the road are usually a good way of piecing together an accident after it’s happened. Like the debris, you want to get a good shot of them from a distance, showing their relation to the road. It’s a good way of telling the speed of the vehicles, or the intent or concentration of the drivers.
Obviously, you also want photos of the damage to the vehicles involved. Both close-ups conveying the extent of the damage and angles showing the positioning of the damage on the car are important for your claim.
It’s important that you note down the name, address and other contact details for anyone that witnessed the accident. These can prove invaluable when making a claim. If any police were present and any reports made, then even better. Ensure you record the reference number and pass these on to your representatives as soon as possible.
Photographing these at the scene may or may not be relevant, depending on the injury. Whatever the injury, though, at some stage you will want to create photographic evidence of any injuries to go with your claim. Bruises can take a while to come up, but cuts, grazes and other such damage can be recorded instantly. Photos of injuries should be taken close up and at various angles, and should be taken in natural light.
For more serious injuries, you will need to obtain medical reports from professionals as evidence. You can also keep ‘pain diaries’ that record your healing process. For less serious injuries, like bruises or cuts, it might be worth taking follow-up photos showing how long they take to heal – perhaps a photo once a fortnight.