Both KXAN and Fox7 reported last night on a collision between a Capital Metro driver and a pedestrian. The story caught my attention because I’ve been on both ends of that. I’ve represented a number of people, including one pedestrian, that have been hurt in wrecks with Capital Metro. And I’ve also had the pleasure of representing a number of Capital Metro drivers, and I know that it’s a hard job.
But watching the KXAN story last night, one thing in particular struck me. As the original story was going, the news camers showed a Capital Metro employee out there taking photos of the bus and the scene. (Unfortunately, the story on the website doesn’t show the entire story so you won’t see this if you’re watching the link.)
In our book HOLDING WRONGDOERS ACCOUNTABLE: AVOIDING MISTAKES THAT CAN RUIN YOUR TEXAS ACCIDENT CLAIM, one of the mistakes we talk about is not documenting the scene. Many times when you’re in a wreck, you’re too hurt to do anything. But in some instances, you’re able to take our your camera or cell phone and snap a few pictures of the cars, skid marks, debris, people standing around, etc. This time of information will almost always help in some way or another as the case proceeds.
This type of investigation is especially important when you’re involved in a wreck with a commercial vehicle, such as a bus or an 18-wheeler. They will have investigators out on the scene as soon as they can. And if they’re the only ones that get to document what’s going on, then it’s a huge advantage for them.
Documenting the scene is also one of the most important reasons why you should talk to an attorney sooner rather than later. If an attorney is hired early, we might be able to get an investigator out there that can find some skid marks, left over debris, etc. that won’t be there as time passes. It’s also sometimes easier to get witnesses to cooperate if we can talk to them shortly after a wreck instead of waiting until months or years later.
After I finished the post, Steve Lombardi, writing in The Verdict, provided additional insight to his clients involved in accidents and stressed how preserving the evidence at accidents whith photographs is equally vital and important to being able to win your case. In Why Is The Bus Company Photographing The Bus At The Accident? Steve adds to the idea that car-truck-bus-motorcycle accident investigations require you to have your own independent investigation to preserve evidence for you. We’ve been doing that at Perlmutter & Schuelke, PLLC for years. And now that it’s easier to make digital presentations to the adjuster, through a demand or at mediation, having that type of evidence in disputed cases is more critical than ever.