After an auto accident, ensuring the safety of yourself and others is paramount.
However, if you can, gathering information while you are still on the scene may be crucial if you later need to file an insurance or personal injury claim against a negligent driver—or defend yourself against a claim of negligence.
Documenting the incident
In the immediate aftermath of an accident, the details of the scene may change quickly. In addition to taking down insurance and contact information from the other driver(s), information to gather may include:
- License plate and driver’s license numbers from those involved in the collision
- Photographs and video of your injuries, vehicle and property damage, vehicles positions, debris or skid marks and nearby traffic signs or signals
- Contact information from witnesses who may be able to provide testimony later
- The badge number of the officer who completes your accident report
Writing down an account of the collision
It also may be a good idea to write down the events that occurred as soon as you can after the accident. Your memory of specific details may fade quickly once the chaos has subsided, so creating a written account or voice recording may help you to present the facts clearly later.
Motor vehicle accidents can easily lead to extensive property damage and catastrophic injuries. Unfortunately, insurance companies are often determined to avoid paying full compensation. Carefully documenting the collision and your injuries may be essential for ensuring you and your family receive the full amount the law entitles you to.