Evidence for a Car Accident: Tips on Keeping Records
Keeping Good Records after an Accident
If you are in a car crash that is beyond a minor fender-bender, you are required to fill out a DMV report. It is your responsibility to keep a copy of this report, as under Oregon law, the DMV cannot provide one for you.
The area should be photographed extensively. Skid marks should be photographed and measured. Pictures should be taken of the vehicles prior to moving them. If you haven’t been in an accident, be prepared: accidents can happen at any time. Keep tools to document a potential accident on hand, in your trunk, or somewhere on your bicycle.
Get Medical Treatment
If you are receiving prompt medical care, it is usually not necessary to photograph your injuries. However, if medical records will not adequately preserve evidence of any injury, it is sometimes advisable to photograph it.
Any formal medical treatment you receive will be recorded – medical records are one of the best types of evidence you can provide for any personal injury claim. Make sure you tell your providers about all your symptoms so that they can document your care correctly.
Pay Attention to the Accident Scene
If an accident was caused or made worse by a missing road sign, or a sign that is obscured by a tree or bush that should have been pruned, this should be documented immediately to provide later evidence for an accident. Take pictures or at the very least write down EXACTLY where the accident happened and any memorable pieces of information.
Hire an Investigator, If Necessary
If you have been seriously injured, you may not be in a position to go and take photographs and document the scene. A good Portland car accident lawyer will know how to document the evidence and will do it for you, usually free of charge. If you do not wish to have an attorney do this for you, then you may want to ask a relative or friend to document the scene and the damages for you. Or you may wish to hire a private investigator.