How to Gather Evidence After You’ve Been in an Auto Accident


Although many New Jersey auto accident claims are handled under the state’s no-fault insurance law, serious injuries may exceed the limits of the victim’s PIP coverage. When that happens, a third-party claim or lawsuit may be necessary. If you were hurt in an accident, it is important that you and your attorney gather evidence to support your claim that another driver’s negligence was the major cause of 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 gathering should begin at the motor vehicle accident scene. The first thing you should do is take photos from a safe distance. These can include shots of:

  • All the vehicles involved, including their license plates
  • Car parts that may have been thrown from the vehicles
  • Road conditions or obstructions, such as potholes, debris or road construction/repair equipment
  • Skid marks on the road
  • An intersection at or near the accident site, including any traffic lights or signage
  • Your view of the accident area immediately prior to the accident, as well as the other driver’s view

These photos not only preserve important information but also may help an accident reconstruction expert determine the speed and direction of the vehicles and whether road conditions or visibility contributed to the accident.

By law, you have to exchange driver’s license, registration and insurance information with the other driver. If there are any witnesses present, including passengers in other cars, get their contact information. It may be difficult to locate witnesses in the future once everyone leaves the scene.

There may be additional evidence that is not immediately available but that an experienced New Jersey motor vehicle accident lawyer can get. If commercial vehicles are involved, they may have “black boxes” that record the speed of the vehicle before the accident and other information. If the accident occurred in a commercial area, some businesses might have video of the accident itself.

If you were injured in a motor vehicle accident in Bergen County or anywhere in New Jersey, consult an experienced motor vehicle accident lawyer at Seigel Law as soon as possible. Contact us online or call 201-444-4000 today for a free case evaluation.

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