Most people know that they need to call 911 after a car accident and that they need to see a doctor. However, there are some things that you may not know about a car accident that could seriously impact your ability to recover money for an accident claim.
- Evidence Can Disappear
Your claim is built on evidence that the other driver caused the crash. However, evidence at the accident scene can disappear with time. A heavy snowstorm or a good rain can wash away skid marks and other evidence. If possible, you should take pictures of the accident scene immediately after the crash. Taking pictures of the vehicles from every angle and pictures of the surrounding area can be the evidence you need to help prove fault.
- Eyewitness Testimony May Not Be Reliable
As with other evidence, the memories of eyewitnesses can fade. Stories can change over time. Therefore, try to record statements at the accident scene if the witness will allow you to do so. At the very least, you should make notes about what witnesses said and ask for their contact information. Give the contact information to your attorney as quickly as possible so that he can contact eyewitnesses to obtain formal statements. Eyewitness testimony can be a powerful piece of evidence in a trial when fault is in dispute.
- What You Say Can Be Used Against You
Even though a car accident claim is a civil matter, what you say after the accident can be used against you later in the case. Therefore, do not apologize or say you are sorry at the accident scene. Also, do not provide a written or recorded statement to the insurance company for the other driver. If your story changes in the slightest way, the insurance company will try to convince the jury you are not trustworthy. Also, if the adjuster can get you to admit you were in a hurry, you were upset, or you were distracted, the company’s attorney may try to blame you for the crash.
- Time is Not on Your Side
As we have discussed, evidence can disappear over time. However, that is not the only obstacle you need to worry about when filing a car accident claim. You only have two years from the date of the accident to file a lawsuit seeking damages. If you do not file your claim before the deadline, the statute of limitations can be used as a bar your claim. Because there are exceptions to the general rule, it is always best to contact an Erie car accident attorney as soon as possible after the crash.
Call Our Erie Car Accident Attorney for a Free Appointment
Navigating Pennsylvania laws related to car accident claims can be difficult. One slight error can result in a claim being denied or undervalued. Our Erie car accident attorneys can help you file a claim and fight for a fair settlement.