New York City Personal Injury Law Blog
Why is it Crucial for Your Attorney to Visit the Scene of the Crime after a Car Accident
Posted on Oct 27, 2014 in Car Accidents
If your client has been at the receiving end of someone’s foolish behavior on the road, you have every right to ask for compensation to cover the losses. A car accident is one of those cases of personal injury when a lawyer is within his rights to ask for a high settlement especially if the accident has left his client with severe injuries that will require a lot of care. But if the case is not handled properly, your client can receive way less in settlement than you actually deserve. So what can you as a lawyer do to make sure this is not the case? Read more to find out!
The Right Strategy in a Car Accident Trial
When you are asking for a settlement on behalf of your client, there are many things you can do to make your case stronger. A clean presentation is always key to ensure a sweeping win. There are many ‘best practices’ that lawyers can follow like asking their client to go to an ER and have a proper checkup, not allowing your client to give any recorded statements that can be taken out of context and used as ammo for a cross examination, and making sure that you client can appropriately articulate his injuries. But the top priority on the list should be to first, before anything else, visit the scene of the crime in person.
Visiting the Scene of the Crime
Now, many may ask why this is necessary. Police officials present at an accident site always take pictures and so do the insurance companies. Your client could have taken his own pictures as well when he comes into your office to enlist your help for the trial. But there is no substitute for an actual viewing of the accident site. Of course you can ask questions like whether it was a commercial area or residential neighborhood, what was the speed limit in the neighborhood, or whether the intersection where the accident happened was a busy one, but only when you see for yourself will you understand truly the dynamics of how the accident occurred.
The thing to remember is that to be able to prove your client’s case in court, you not only have to defend your client of any wrongdoing, but you also have to prove that the accident was the fault of the other driver and not your man.
For this, you have to understand how the scene played out from the point of view of your client, as well as from the point of view of the other driver. And this knowledge can only be gained by visiting the scene of crime, preferably with a high resolution digital camera in hand, and visualizing the accident as it might have happened. Only then will you be able to pick up on nuances that might prove to be the key to winning the case, and a high settlement offer―for your client.