After an auto accident, making sure everyone is safe takes priority. However, if possible, gathering information about the incident while still on the scene can be extremely important.
Collecting driver, witness and officer information could be invaluable if you need to file an insurance claim. Additionally, taking numerous photographs and videos may be crucial if you end up pursuing or defending yourself against an injury lawsuit.
1. Document drivers and vehicles
In addition to the full names and phone numbers of other drivers involved in an incident, make sure to gather their driver’s license numbers, the name and policy numbers of their insurance company and the make, model and year of other vehicles involved.
2. Speak with witnesses and officers
Witnesses on the scene may be able to provide statements about what happened. It may be a good idea to ask bystanders for their names, contact information and permission to communicate with them later about helping with your insurance and/or personal injury claim. It may also help to speak with officers about getting a copy of your accident report.
3. Take photographs and video
Photographs of your injuries, damage to vehicles and damage to other property can provide important evidence later. Additionally, it may be helpful to capture the whole scene in a video, including the position of vehicles, weather conditions and nearby traffic signs and signals.
You may want to consider keeping a simple checklist of details to document on your phone or in your vehicle. That way, if you experience a collision, you will be well prepared to gather the information you need to help you recover the needed compensation for your injuries and any property damage.