Injured in a road accident and have to go to court? Here’s how to prepare
Millions of people become victims of road accidents, whether as drivers, passengers, or even pedestrians. Injuries can range in severity but they will all certainly leave a long-term effect on you and may impact your life in many ways. In certain cases, you may be asked to present at court to discuss the events – in the event that someone needs to be found guilty of criminal charges or you are trying to claim compensation. This can be a scary step for some individuals so preparation is key.
This article will advise you on how to prepare for court after being injured in a road accident so that you know exactly what steps to take and can put your mind at ease.
Do not discuss the case
One important thing you must know is that the details of the case should be kept to yourself. If you have to go to court it is likely to be due to a dispute between you and the other parties involved about who is at fault for the accident. When you discuss the incident with others you may be putting the entire case at risk. This also applies to talking to the other driver at the scene of the accident – it may be tempting to apologize or admit blame, but this may result in you being found guilty in court.
The court will require appropriate evidence to assess who was responsible for the accident and what may have caused it. At times, someone may have tried to hurt you on purpose, which means that the other person is facing criminal charges. Whatever the case, you will need to gather as much evidence as possible. Below are some of the types of evidence that you can gather to support your case:
The first thing you should do after being in an accident is to go to the doctor and get assessed by a medical professional. This is vital even if you believe you have very minor injuries that can heal on their own. If this is something you have done, make sure to ask the hospital for notes and records of your injuries, any diagnosis as well as any treatments you may have undergone. The medical costs should also be part of it so that the court has access to the extent of your sufferings and bills.
Take photos of the accident and injuries
It is always a good idea to take photos of the accident – take pictures of the vehicles, the damage, the road where it happened as well as of the injuries that you and every other party involved may have sustained. This will give the court an idea of what actually happened as a verbal or written description does not always provide the same level of detail as a visual cue.
Get witness statements
Gather any witness statements that you may have to present at the court. If there were people that witnessed what happened, you should have taken their version of the events so that it is not just your word against the other person’s. You could go the extra mile by requesting their contact details and asking them whether they would be willing to attend court if necessary.
Records from the Police
It is normal for the police to be called to every road accident, no matter how small it may seem – the authorities will collect everyone’s information and get statements. They may also do some inquiries to civilians as to what happened, in case there are witnesses. If you are going to court, they may have already submitted the necessary documents to the appropriate parties at the court, although you should always check whether this has been done and also request copies that you can present yourself.
Hire a lawyer
Undergoing legal proceedings after being in an accident can be long and overwhelming. This is why it is a good idea to rely on a professional attorney that knows what they are doing so that you can focus on other aspects of your life. If you live in New York, for example, you may wish to consult with NYC pedestrian accident lawyers to support you and guide you through this process. It may be costly to do this, but it will save you plenty of time and increase your chances of a positive outcome.
Learn more about the law
Even if you hire an attorney, you may feel more confident having general knowledge about the law. Legal professionals will use the law and find loopholes they can exploit to their advantage. You may prefer to have some oversight over the road accident case, even if you let the expert lead and take most of the responsibility. Just be aware that it will take time to learn – the best way to do this is by asking questions when you have them and doing your own research.
Being a victim in a road accident can have major impact on your life. If you have been asked to present at court, you may be feeling anxious – which is completely natural. Make sure to follow the tips on the page, to ensure that you do what you are prepared for.