Gathering the right facts and pictures following a car crash can help ensure you get the compensation you need to recover.
In 2015, 266 people lost their lives in a car accident in Connecticut. According to the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration, a significant number of these fatal accidents were due to incidents involving alcohol, and speed played a role in 73 of the deaths.
These numbers illustrate the importance of documenting an accident and gathering proof of fault and damages. When someone else acts negligently and causes a crash, he or she should be held responsible. Through gathering the following information, victims of car accidents can ensure the other party is accountable:
1. A police report
One of the first items someone should do is call local law enforcement. This will generate an official police report that will detail the events of what occurred. Insurance companies and courts can use those documents as evidence when determining who is at fault in the incident. The Connecticut State Police note that police reports for motor vehicle accidents are usually available within 10 days of the incident.
2. Contact information
It should go without saying that the drivers should exchange insurance and contact information with each other. However, people should also gather contact information for anyone who witnessed the car crash. It is possible that those eyewitnesses could have to testify on a victim's behalf in the event that the accident leads to a trial.
When possible, drivers should take pictures of the scene and any damage that occurred. Because so many people have cameras on their cellphones now, this task should be a little easier than it may have been just a decade or so ago. Take pictures of the vehicle positioning, tire marks and any other items that could clearly illustrate what transpired.
4. Insurance coverage
Anyone who drives a vehicle must have auto insurance, and everyone should know what their coverage is. After calling the police, drivers should contact their insurance companies. Regardless of who is to blame for the incident, both parties should know what their policy covers. In some cases, the limits may not be enough to compensate for all the damage caused. Insurance companies may also try to shortchange someone on the money to which he or she is entitled.
The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention points out that in one year alone, deadly motor vehicle crashes cost people in Connecticut a total of $407 million. That accounts for medical costs as well as time missed from work. Injurious accidents also come with a steep price tag, as there are medical bills, lost wages and property damage to account for.
A car accident can turn someone's life upside down, but working with the right medical and legal professionals can set things right again. Anyone who has questions about this topic should speak with a personal injury attorney in Connecticut.