The scene immediately after a vehicle accident can be chaotic and confusing.
Accordingly, most people rely on law enforcement officers or road assistance
personnel to document and record the details of the collision. Generally,
the primary role of law enforcement officers is to check for injuries,
ensure safety of people involved in the crash and make clear travel lanes
for other motorists. As a result, most likely, critical information about
the crash itself may be lost forever once the cars involved are removed
from the scene and property damage is repaired.
Document Your Accident
There are a few, yet very important steps you can take to document your
accident, that is, if you are left unscathed after the incident. Simple
things like getting contact information from witnesses, taking photographs,
and obtaining insurance information from the other driver involved. Taking
such simple steps preserves a record of what happened and may prove vital
when corroborating your version of events in court.
This documentation will come in handy when negotiating with insurance
adjusters or presenting your case in court long after the incident occurred.
But first things first, make sure you are safely out of the travel lanes,
not impeding traffic and not in danger of being hit by another motorist.
If you are in the travel lane, put down flares and turn on your vehicle’s
hazard lights, then call for emergency assistance as soon as possible.
Once you are out of the road, out of harms way, take photos of the vehicles
involved in the collision. This should be easy since most people have
cellular phones equipped with camera. Try to take the pictures of the
vehicles involved, at every angle, as well as their license plate numbers.
Avoid photographing small areas of the vehicles, as such pictures taken
can be hard to identify later. Also, take pictures of damaged areas inside
the car, including the dashboard, broken seats, etc. Take pictures of
damaged belongings, thus, if any personal items such as cell phones, eyeglasses
or laptop computers are damaged, take their pictures as well.
Try as safe as possible to take pictures of any skid marks or debris left
in the roadway. Photos that indicate damage to nearby things like road
signs, fences or shrubs should also be taken, as they provide the best
evidence of the way the accident happened and demonstrate the magnitude
of the impact and the resulting damage it caused.
Many times when a car accident happens, bystanders respond immediately
to the scene. These people may not stay at the scene long enough to be
identified by law enforcement officials. Thus, try to secure their names
and phone numbers as early as possible. Remember, occupants of the other
car involved in the accident are also witnesses. So, make sure to document
their first and last names and record their phone numbers as well.
Don’t assume that law enforcement officers will obtain contact information
of witnesses at the scene, as they might not since they may find critical
witnesses have already left the scene of the accident.
If you have been injured in a car accident,
contact The Kyle Law Firm today to schedule your free consultation.