Following a collision, your first priority should be to make sure that you and others on the scene receive medical attention and contact the police promptly.
However, if you are able and it is safe to do so, documenting the accident carefully may make a crucial difference if you need to file an insurance and/or personal injury claim later.
Collect driver information
In addition to the contact information and full name of other drivers involved in the collision, make sure to collect the following information:
- Drivers’ license numbers and license plate numbers
- Insurance provider names and policy numbers
- The model, make and color of vehicles
- The location of the accident
Gather photo and video evidence
Taking pictures and video is important for preserving details about the scene. Make sure to photograph your injuries and damage to vehicles from several angles. Other helpful images to gather include:
- Damage to property other than vehicles
- Skid marks, road debris or other hazards
- The presence of road signs or signals
- Video of traffic and weather conditions
- The relative position of involved vehicles
Talk with officers and witnesses
When the police arrive, make sure to check with officers about where you can request a copy of the accident report and take down their badge numbers for future reference. Additionally, speak with witnesses to the incident who may be willing to give their account later.
If you or a loved one experience severe injury during a motor vehicle accident, you may be facing a long, difficult recovery, overwhelming medical bills and forced time off work. Unfortunately, you may not be able to receive the compensation you need if an insurance company or negligent individual disputes your claim. Documenting an accident carefully may help ensure you receive the full amount the law entitles you to.