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If you’ve been injured in a vehicle or other accident, it’s critical to retain a lawyer as soon as possible after your accident in order to maximize your opportunity to recover the full value for the damages that you sustained. Here are the reasons why this is the case.
- Accident Scene Investigation. It’s important to conduct a thorough investigation of an accident scene promptly before the scene changes. At a vehicle accident, skids marks can be washed away, guardrails and other objects may be repaired, and other alterations to the scene may take place.
As Washington accident injury lawyers, we often will retain professional experts to investigate an accident scene, analyze road conditions, and develop computer models to reconstruct motor vehicle accidents. Such information is vital to determine cause and to identify liable parties. The sooner case preparation can begin, the more opportunity we will have to effectively litigate or negotiate a settlement on your behalf.
- Witness Interviews. For most people, memories fade as time passes. As your legal counsel, we will want to interview witnesses as soon as possible following an accident so that an accurate account of the accident can be obtained.
- Evidence Spoilation. An important part of accident representation is to promptly secure evidence, such as vehicles, before such evidence is destroyed. In many cases, it is in the best interest of defendants (and their insurance companies) to see that cars and other vital evidence are destroyed so that such evidence cannot be used against them. It is our role to take prompt action to ensure that vehicles and other critical evidence are secured and kept in a controlled environment. Often this will mean obtaining a court order concerning evidence preservation.
- Black Box Evidence and Interpretation. Most cars on the road today are equipped with “black box” event recorders, similar to the ones that have long been used in airplanes. These black boxes are capable of recording a wide variety of information, such as vehicle speed, whether seat belts were being used, and other information about the vehicle immediately prior to an accident. If not secured soon after an accident, these event recorders can be destroyed, or the critical information can be deleted. Because these event recorders do not record information in a format that is immediately readable, we hire experts when needed to translate the series of computer information into a usable format.
- Statements Against Interest. Immediately following an accident, claims adjusters and others acting on behalf of those causing accidents will usually try to contact the drivers who have been injured by their client. If they call you, the purpose of their call is not to convey their apologies, admit liability, or to tell how they are going to fully compensate you for your injuries, but rather to trick you into making statements against your interest that they will use at a later date. These claims adjustors are experts in getting people to make such statements.
As injury lawyers, we will advise you not to talk to these adjustors or anyone else about the cause of your accident, and instead to inform anyone who calls you to have them call our office.
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When you retain us, we will be there to fully advance your case and to handle all matters associated with seeking a full recovery against all those responsible for your accident and injuries.