The steps you take directly following an auto accident can have a huge impact on your ability to collect compensation for any injuries that you have suffered. In order to ensure you do not forget a single step when emergency hits, consider taking just a moment to print out the checklist below and place a copy in your glove box. This will allow you to easily access all of the information you need in the event of a serious car accident.
The physical evidence left behind by a car crash can disappear in a matter of minutes after the accident scene is cleared by emergency responders. Therefore, it is critical that you or your representative are able to collect as much evidence as possible from the scene.
The most effective way to go about collecting evidence at the scene of an accident is by taking as many photographs as possible. These photographs should include:
- all vehicles involved in the accident
- any physical conditions that may have contributed to the accident, such as potholes or poorly placed trees
- weather conditions at the time of the accident
- road conditions at the time of the accident
- property damage caused by the accident
If you choose to use a cell phone or other mobile device to take these photographs, be sure that each photo includes a time stamp so that their authenticity can be easily verified by the insurance company once you have filed a claim.
In addition to collecting physical evidence, you will also need to collect as much information as possible from both the other driver and any witnesses that may have been present at the time of the accident. This information should include:
- the other driver's name and insurance information
- name and contact information for all witnesses
- the names and badge numbers of responding law enforcement officers
- police report number
Once you have all of the evidence and information that you need, it will be time to seek the assistance that you need in order to successfully file a claim. There are three main types of assistance that you will require.
- Automotive assistance - You will need to have your vehicle towed to a local automotive shop, even if it is in drivable condition. This ensures that all damages to the vehicle are immediately and correctly cataloged.
- Medical assistance - You should always receive immediate medical attention after being involved in an accident. This is extremely important as some injuries will not produce symptoms for several days after the accident. Some of these injuries, such as internal bleeding, can be life threatening if not treated immediately.
- Legal assistance - Many accident claims will prove complex and will require the assistance of a reputable auto accident attorney in order to ensure you get the compensation you deserve. Contacting an attorney as soon as possible after your accident will ultimately provide them with the best opportunity to successfully pursue your case.
All of the information and evidence you have gathered can be used when building a case against the other party in your accident. Contact a firm such as Kuzyk Law for more information.