The scene of a vehicle accident is an important source of evidence for any injury victim. And while most of the available evidence is collected immediately after the accident occurs, some may find it useful to return to the scene later on. Why? What could evidence might you find that helps you build a strong case? Here are a few things to look for.
1. Unnoticed Parts or Marks
In the hustle and bustle of a car accident, public crews attempt to clean up everything as quickly as is safe and feasible. Some things may get accidentally overlooked, particularly if they aren't in the way of traffic or were thrown far from the vehicles. Look for anything that may help shed light on the accident's cause, such as broken car parts or road obstacles.
2. Weather and the Sun
If you return to the scene at the approximate time of day that the accident occurred, you may find out more about road conditions. Perhaps the sun was at an angle that glared straight into windshields. Fog might build up in the early mornings. Or rain could make road lines unclear. Clues like these can send your legal investigation in a different direction.
3. Traffic or Store Cameras
Cameras — both still and video — are one of the best types of evidence. However, few people are filming before an accident even occurs. What might also have captured the incident? Look for traffic cameras, stores that may have their own security cameras, ATM machines, and other potential sources of video or photos.
4. Potential Witnesses
Talk with nearby businesses and residents to see if they saw or heard anything before, during, or after the accident. Some people will voluntarily stop or notify the police if they witness an accident, but not everyone may do so. Eyewitnesses are another strong source of evidence for court, and you do well to explore all possible angles to get it.
5. Jogged Memories
Finally, walking the scene of the accident could help you better encapsulate in your mind what happened. This isn't recommended for everyone, as it can also cause you trauma. But if you are comfortable doing so, you may find that reconnecting helps you remember things — like the traffic light color or a pedestrian in the crosswalk — that will be useful for your claim.
Where to Start
Before you return to investigate the scene of your accident, start by consulting with an experienced accident lawyer in your state. They will work with you to ensure you get the best evidence possible.
Reach out to a vehicle accident lawyer to learn more.