In the chaotic aftermath of a car accident, your safety and the safety of others will naturally be your top priority. However, if you can, documenting the incident carefully may be crucial later.
If you or a loved one sustained severe injuries, you may be facing overwhelming medical expenses, forced time off work and both physical and emotional suffering. However, to receive needed compensation, you will have to provide the insurance company with detailed information about how the incident occurred.
1. Take down other drivers’ information
Make sure to gather insurance, license and other information from all other drivers involved in the accident, including:
- License plate and driver’s license numbers
- Insurance company names and policy numbers
- The color, make and model of the involved vehicles
2. Collect photographic and video evidence
Make sure to photograph any injuries and damage to vehicles and other property from several angles. Video can be helpful for recording the traffic and weather conditions at the time of the accident. Other pictures to take include the presence of traffic signs or signals, the relative positions of vehicles after the crash and any resulting skid marks or road debris.
3. Speak with officers and witnesses
You may want to ask witnesses present for their contact information in case they are willing to provide an account later. Additionally, once the police arrive, make sure to get the badge number of the officer who completes the accident report and check to make sure they have the correct version of the events.
Finally, even if you did not suffer severe injuries, it is a good idea to seek medical care after an accident. This ensures there are no hidden issues and establishes a clear medical record should you need to file an insurance claim or personal injury lawsuit.