California Personal Injury Litigation – The Importance of Preserving Evidence

By Michael Reiter, Attorney at Law.

If you have been injured in an accident, the most important thing is to make sure you receive medical attention and medical attention for others around you.

However, even if you do not presently have the intention of recovering your damages, there are a few simple steps you can do at the time of the incident, and in the days and weeks following. Missing these opportunities can compromise efforts for compensation.

If you can, take pictures immediately.  With the quality of phone cameras increasing, take as many pictures as possible of the scene of the accident.  For example, in a slip and fall, the condition will be quickly remedied, so if you or your friends or family can take a picture, it can preserve important evidence.  Also, have someone take a picture of your visible injuries. The sooner the pictures are taken after the accident, the better.  In the case of a flooding event or fire, take video during the event.  Again, cameras have excellent video cameras these days.  The new Apple iPhone 4s takes full high definition video, for example.

If there are witnesses, try to get business cards or phone numbers, or some contact information.  If there is a police report, obtain it as soon as possible.  Obtain any other reports.

Get copies of your records regarding medical treatment including billing.  These records can be obtained from your medical providers.  Obtain records of time missed from work.

In slip and falls and trip and falls, the condition of shoes is often an issue.  Keep the shoes, and don’t wear them again.  If you have clothes or other property, preserve them, too.  If you have to repair property, such as a car, make sure that pictures are taken before the repairs.  Take pictures from different angles.  We no longer live in an age where you could only take a few pictures before running out of film.

Remember that you likely face statutes of limitations that can impact your ability to be compensated for your losses.  If a government agency is involved, typically a government claim is required before you file suit, and generally the government claim must be filed six months from the date of the incident.

The information you obtain at this blog is not, nor is it intended to be, legal advice. No attorney-client relationship is established by reading or commenting on this blog. You should consult an attorney for advice regarding your individual situation.

Address: 300 E. State St. #517
                   Redlands, CA 92373
Telephone: (909) 296-6708
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About Michael Reiter, Attorney at Law
Michael Reiter is a Redlands, California-based lawyer, serving San Bernardino County and Riverside County in Southern California's Inland Empire. Michael Reiter is a lawyer practicing in the following fields of law: Municipal Law, Code Enforcement Law, Small Business Law and Real Estate Law. Michael Reiter practices in all the local courts, including San Bernardino Superior Court, Riverside Superior Court, and the United States District Court for the Central District of California. Michael Reiter was admitted to the California State Bar in 1998. Michael Reiter was Assistant City Attorney for the City of Redlands, a Deputy City Attorney for the City of San Bernardino, and Staff Attorney for Legal Aid Society of San Bernardino. Michael Reiter serves all of San Bernardino and Riverside County, Orange County, and Los Angeles County. Michael Reiter can be reached at (909) 296-6708, or by electronic mail at michael@michaelreiterlaw.com. 300 E. State St. #517 Redlands CA 92373-5235

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