New Jersey and New York are no-fault insurance states, which means your own insurance company is responsible for compensating you for injuries in an accident under PIP coverage. However, in the case of serious injury, PIP coverage may not be enough and a third-party claim or lawsuit is warranted. If you’re considering a personal injury claim after a car accident or in the process of one, it’s important to gather evidence to bolster your claim.
In order to be successful in your claim, your case should include solid evidence that proves the other entity’s negligence is responsible for the accident and your injuries. Oftentimes, cases with a plethora of solid evidence can be resolved more quickly than one that lacks much backup to the claim. You may also need evidence to prove how you may or may not have contributed to the accident. New Jersey is a comparative negligence state, which means your recovery of damages from another driver may be reduced or prevented depending on your own degree of fault.
Evidence to Gather at the Scene of the Car Accident
Your first priority in the immediate aftermath of a car accident should be to seek medical treatment for any injuries. Only if it’s possible and safe to do so, try to gather evidence at the scene of the car accident such as:
Taking photographs. Using your phone to take pictures of the accident scene is a good way to gather evidence after a car accident. Take as many pictures as needed of damage to all vehicles involved, road conditions, weather conditions and your injuries.
Contact information. By collecting contact information, you’re not only complying with the law, you’re also putting yourself in the best possible position to be able to file a claim and recoup losses from the accident. There are three types of information that will be important to try to collect after a car accident -- contact information for all other drivers, passengers and witnesses; vehicle information; car insurance information.
Critical Evidence to Prove Your Car Accident Claim
If you’re not able to collect evidence at the scene of the accident, there are still other important ways to gather evidence to prove your claim, such as:
Police reports. Under New Jersey law, if a driver is involved in a car accident, he or she is required to report it to law enforcement if the crash involved more than $500 of property damage. In New York, the threshold is $1000 worth of damage and/or any injury or fatality. You can request a copy of the report from the state police or the municipality in which the accident happened.
Electronic evidence. Many types of evidence from a car accident can be collected in electronic form. Most newer automobiles in the United States are equipped with an event data recorder (EDR) which can measure and capture such information as vehicle speed, the rate of acceleration and deceleration, steering angle, and brake application. If you have clear dashcam video footage of what happened before, during or just after an incident – particularly video with the time and date recorded on the image or embedded in metadata – few will argue with what the footage shows.
Medical evidence. Medical documentation and records are an important piece of evidence in your car accident claim. Keep in mind that the other party’s insurance company or attorneys may ask for copies of your medical records. You and your attorney should review any records or records request before handing them over to the insurance company.
Talk to the Car Accident Lawyers at Brandon J. Broderick, Attorney at Law
Witness statements, police reports, electronic evidence, and medical records are all highly effective and typical types of evidence in a car crash to prove that the other driver is liable for the accident. Our top-rated car accident lawyers will review the evidence at hand at the onset of the case and may also further build the case by collecting more evidence. We have decades of experience championing for our clients and succeeding, even when other attorneys say there is no case and insurance adjusters deny or devalue your claim.
At Brandon J. Broderick, Attorney at Law, we believe in exceptional client care, empathy, and results. That’s what makes us one of the top-rated car accident law firms in the area. With offices in New Jersey, New York, Connecticut and Florida, we’ve got you covered. We’ve helped people just like you move forward after sustaining an injury that was caused by another’s negligence. Contact us today for a free consultation.