15 Oct

How And Why To Document Evidence After A Crash

Car Accidents, Personal Injury, Tips

document evidence after a crash

Getting into a car accident (or a motorcycle accident, or a truck accident, or a bicycle accident, or any type of vehicular crash) can be a traumatic and shocking experience. Even if the accident was “minor”, it may really startle and upset you. It’s an abrupt interruption to wherever you were going before, particularly if another driver caused the collision! However, especially if you are injured, it is incredibly important to document evidence of the accident scene immediately for insurance purposes later on. 

In this blog, we will explore how and why everyone who is ever involved in an accident should do this! If you’re a driver, or you have a teenage driver, the information below can be helpful to you if you ever find yourself or a loved one injured after a crash.


Because evidence establishes liability. 

Florida is a “no fault” state, but that just means that both sides get some of the damages covered by their own insurance policy first – not that no one was responsible for the crash! Someone was at fault, and if the other driver’s reckless or careless actions led to the accident, having evidence can help prove that. This can lead to you avoiding penalties or higher policy rates with your own insurance company, avoiding a traffic ticket, and being able to make a successful claim for compensation if PIP doesn’t cover all of the costs you incur as a result of their negligence. 

Because documentation preserves critical information.

At the time of the crash, adrenaline and shock may keep you from fully being able to register exactly what has happened. You also don’t have all of the facts, from your vantage point, about what the other driver was or wasn’t doing. Even if you think that the crash was your fault (and you should NEVER say this at the scene before an investigation occurs), documenting the details can reveal that there were other factors at play. It also provides a factual record; memory is subjective, and you may not remember what events led up to the crash days after, or what the scene looked like without having pictures, notes, and etc. Moreover, if there is any dispute about whose fault the accident was – like if the other person swears that you were texting, or that you turned in front of them, then documentation can set the record straight. Without it, it’s just your word against theirs! 

Because you need it in order to make a claim.

Whether you are making a claim for PIP benefits, or you are making a claim for additional compensation due to your injuries with the other party’s insurance company, you will need to demonstrate that your injuries were severe and treatment was medically necessary, and also that property damage and injuries were a result of the other driver’s negligence. This is lot to prove, and in order for your claim to be considered and rightfully valued, you need a lot of evidence to back it up!

If you end up filing a personal injury lawsuit against the other driver’s insurance company, because they won’t pay you the full amount you deserve, you and your attorney will need to establish four things before a judge or jury: that 1) the person who hit you owed you a duty (to drive responsibly), 2) that the person who hit you breached that duty (by not driving responsibly), 3) that their actions directly led to your injury, and 4) that you suffered damages. 2, 3, and 4 need to be supported by evidence such as crash photos, journal entries about your pain, hospital bills, and more in order to be accepted. 



There are multiple ways that you can and should document evidence after a crash! 

At the scene:

Take pictures AND videos.

This is probably one of the most helpful ways that you can protect yourself; record the scene with your phone. Take pictures or videos from multiple angles (closeups and wide shots) of both vehicles, as well as any images of your initial injuries, if they are visible. Note the traffic and road and weather conditions at the time of the crash. Include any relevant factors in these pictures and videos! 

Call the police.

No matter how much the other party asks you not to, you always need to call the police after a collision. They can file an official report that will be available to you and any other parties who need it later! It will include important information such as statements and preliminary assessment of fault. 

Write a note.

Make a note on your phone of what you remember happening and any other relevant details. Writing down information will help you preserve it! Take note of the other driver’s name, phone number, license plate, and insurance information. Write down what you are feeling and experiencing, if possible, to come back to later. 

Request information from witnesses.

If there are any witnesses who stopped or who are still around, ask them for their contact information and, if they are willing, to give a statement about what they saw.


After leaving the scene: 

Get a medical examination 

This is probably one of the most important pieces of advice in this blog post. Regardless of whether or not you feel injured, you should be seen by a doctor as soon as possible following a crash. There are several reasons for this. For one thing, the stress of the incident may be physically preventing you from feeling the full extent of your injuries. You may be fine driving home, but once you get home, be hit with a splitting headache or aching neck and need medical attention. For another, some injuries don’t present themselves for hours or days, such as some forms of head trauma or internal bleeding or disk herniations. 

If you wait to seek treatment, not only are you putting yourself at risk for these potential injuries to show up with a vengeance and cause increased health problems later, but you are also jeopardizing any potential claim you will need to make. In order to recover PIP benefits, you have to have had medical care within 14 days of the accident or you will likely be ineligible for coverage. 

And if you don’t seek care within a few days after the crash and later file a claim for injury compensation, both the insurance company and any judge or jury could consider that a reason to deny damages, because something else in that time frame could have contributed to your injury or because it means your injuries weren’t that serious. 

So don’t wait! Make sure there is a record of your injuries by a medical professional (a primary care doctor or ER or urgent care) right away. 


Need Help Making A Claim For Injuries? Call The Florida Law Group Today!

If you have been injured in a crash, even if you don’t have all of this suggested documentation, call our Florida auto accident attorneys today for a free consultation. We can stand up for your rights, explain your options, and pursue the monetary award that your injuries are worth.