Preserving evidence is a key step when pursuing an Iowa car accident claim to recover financial and other damages caused by the accident. This means acting quickly – and many choose to work with a Des Moines injury attorney – in order to prevent any evidence from being destroyed, tampered with, or lost.
How to Preserve Evidence in an Iowa Car Accident Claim
If a victim requires medical attention at the crash scene or is transported to an emergency department, there may be little the person can do to preserve evidence right then and there.
In such cases, victims may return to the scene of the accident. There could be witnesses who live or work near where the accident took place who may be able to provide statements. There might be physical evidence, such as skid marks, that could be helpful in piecing together what happened.
Further, victims may ask a trusted family member or friend at the scene to begin collecting evidence immediately after the crash, or to return to the scene – perhaps with help from a Des Moines injury attorney – to collect or evaluate evidence. There is a better chance of preserving evidence when acted upon quickly.
Types of Evidence That Should Be Preserved after an Iowa Car Accident
The vehicles that were involved in the accident should be located. Even better If pictures can be taken at the scene of the accident. It’s important to take several different shots of the vehicles, including close-ups of damaged areas and wider views.
With or without pictures, the vehicles themselves should be preserved. If the vehicles are towed away and it’s not communicated where they are being taken, efforts should be made to find the vehicles as soon as possible. A Des Moines injury attorney may help in this respect.
One of the risks of delaying finding a towed vehicle is that it could be scrapped or destroyed. Once the location of the vehicles has been determined, the appropriate party (such as a towing company or an auto repair shop) should be contacted and a letter sent to request that nothing be destroyed or altered. Copies of the letter should also be sent to the insurance companies.
When there is confusion or opposing viewpoints as to what caused the crash, an accident reconstruction expert can help in preserving evidence. This would require sending someone out immediately, before the elements of weather conditions destroy anything of relevance.
Debris, broken pieces from the vehicles, glass, tire marks and other types of evidence can help in building a stronger case. Reconstruction experts generally know the best types of pictures to take, may implement video footage, and will sometimes create a diagram of the accident scene.
Part of preserving evidence is being able to recall what happened. It’s not uncommon for accident victims to forget important details, especially if he or she was seriously injured or experienced shock. If an injured person isn’t able to write down what happened, he or she should ask someone else to do it.
Virtually any piece of documentation, record, receipt or physical object could potentially become key evidence in an Iowa car accident claim. Anything that is relevant to the crash should be preserved.
How a Des Moines Injury Attorney May Be Able to Help in Preserving Evidence
Sometimes legal counsel is able to obtain evidence much easier. An attorney is familiar with the types of proof required and may be able to utilize experts who can assist with the collection of evidence, or who can help reconstruct the details and scene of a serious Iowa car accident.
A Des Moines injury attorney at Walker, Billingsley & Bair may be able to help accident victims file an accident claim and collect and preserve evidence necessary to demonstrate the cause of the Iowa car accident and liability of the other party.