Preserve and Document
If you’re injured in any type of accident, it is important to document the accident or incident.
In Court, it’s all About the Evidence
In a court of law, cases are resolved based upon the evidence – the facts. After an accident, to the extent you can of course, document all aspects of it.
For Car Accidents:
If in a car accident, call the police (911). Exchange information with the other driver. Take photos of the cars, showing their respective damage and positioning on the roadway before they are moved (in today’s times everyone has a cell phone with camera and video). Ascertain if there were any witnesses and if so get their account and contact information. Talk to the police and be mindful that your statements in some way will be noted on the police report. If you are injured, tell the police (don’t be a martyr or macho) and get EMS attention and go to the hospital for evaluation (this is good sense irrespective of any legal claim). Follow-up with a doctor; many soft-tissue injuries manifest themselves days after the trauma.
For Premises Accidents:
If in a premises accident (slip/trip and fall, for example), document the location and specific area (stairs, sidewalk, floor-area, etc.). This is especially crucial if the condition is transient. Documenting an unsafe snow-ice condition after-the-fact may be pointless; the same applies to debris and foreign substances. There is a duty to remove snow/ice and debris/foreign substances from floor and ground with due notice and reasonable opportunity to do so.
Memories Fade; Recollections Differ – So Document
Months and years after an accident, recollections will fade and versions will differ. It is the facts that will speak – so preserve and document them.