If you are involved in a New Jersey or New York automobile accident, there are a handful of things you can do to greatly improve your chances of success on a later claim or lawsuit. If physically possible after the accident, you should attempt to preserve and document the scene as follows.
First, try to obtain the names and contact information of all eyewitnesses. The testimony of unbiased eyewitnesses is powerful evidence in support of automobile accident and personal injury claims. Many times, key witnesses are lost when they leave the scene immediately following an accident. If possible after the accident, attempt to engage any nearby motorists or witnesses and politely ask them to provide their names and contact information to you. This only takes a moment, but can pay dividends later on.
Next, if you or someone nearby has a camera or smartphone, you should attempt to photograph the accident scene and other motor vehicles or instrumentalities involved in the accident, in addition to any personal injures. If possible, ask to have any physical evidence and injury-causing instrumentalities (i.e. the automobiles, dangerous roadway conditions, defective components of your own automobile, etc.) preserved for later inspection, or at least ask where these materials will be taken and/or stored so that a formal request for preservation in anticipation of litigation can be made.
You should also call the police or other authorities who can create an accident report, take statements from drivers, passengers and eyewitnesses, obtain relevant insurance information, and further assist in the accident scene investigation process. Finally, attempt to obtain the names and contact information of any parties who arrive after the accident to assist in the cleanup and provide medical treatment (i.e. firemen, tow truck operators, emergency medical technicians, etc.). These parties may have helpful information regarding the condition of the vehicles after the accident, the road conditions and the injuries.
Much of the key evidence in an automobile accident personal injury lawsuit is captured immediately following the subject incident. Thus, if you are physically able to perform any of the above tasks after you have been involved in an automobile accident, you should do so. It will greatly assist you and your New Jersey / New York personal injury lawyer in the prosecution of your automobile injury case.