Auto Accident Scene: Preserving Evidence

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The auto attorneys of Zneimer & Zneimer, P.C. know that the sheer trauma of being involved in a car accident can often cause a temporary lapse in judgment. However, it is important to maintain composure and remain as observant as possible following the occurrence of an auto crash. Crucial steps can be taken to preserve the valuable evidence that exists amongst all the chaos following an accident. Our Chicago injury attorneys represent the victims and family members of those involved in auto accidents. Although our legal team has been successful at recovering the compensation deserved for our clients even in circumstances where evidence was not properly preserved, Zneimer & Zneimer, P.C. also understand the correlation between safeguarding substantial proof and a jury’s determination. The following tips are provided as guidance regarding the measures that can be taken to preserve evidence following an automobile accident.

  • Tip 1. Take Photographs. If injuries have not prevented mobility, gather as much photographic evidence as possible. If you do not have a camera in the car, your mobile phone can be used to take photographs of the accident scene. Photographs can provide evidence of property damage, the final landing positions of the vehicles, the presence or absence of injury, the occupants of the vehicle, as well as a variety of other information commonly used to support or negate a claim. For example, there may have been a small child in the other vehicle, but you notice that the vehicle has no car seat.
  • Tip 2. Talk to Witnesses. Check your surroundings to see if any bystanders may have witnessed the accident. Be sure to get their contact information. Let the police officer know of potential witnesses, so that this can be documented in the police report as well.
  • Tip 3. Exchange only relevant information. Although the police report should contain all or most of the relevant information of the parties involved in the accident, it is best to ensure that all information has been accurately documented. Make sure that other motorists and vehicle occupants involved provide a driver’s license and valid insurance card to the law enforcement officer. Ask the law enforcement officer, or the other motorist(s) involved if you can see these items yourself. If possible, take a photograph of these items. If possible, verify the contents of the police report.
  • Tip 4. Limit Verbal Communication. When possible, speak only to the law enforcement officer when one is present, or explain to the other motorist that you would prefer to wait until one arrives. If you are concerned that a motorist may leave the accident scene, be sure that you have recorded the vehicle license plate number, as well as the make, model, and approximate year of the vehicle. Once you have recorded this information, you should then request the motorist’s contact and insurance information. Also, try to refrain from discussing anything other than contact or insurance information with the other driver, so as to avoid admissions of fault or unnecessary altercation.

The Chicago accident attorneys of Zneimer & Zneimer, P.C. understand that auto accidents can be highly stressful, especially in cases where a negligent driver is involved. However, it is important to remain calm at all times. Your main focus immediately following a car accident should include the securing the safety of those involved in the incident, requesting law enforcement for purposes of generating a police report, and in the absence of law enforcement, safeguarding receipt of the other motorist’s contact and insurance information.

If you or a loved one were involved in an auto accident, contact us today for a Free Personal Injury Consultation with a licensed Illinois accident injury attorney today at (773) 516-4100, or online at

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