If you have never been in a car accident, you probably wonder what steps you should take if you ever have that misfortune. If you suffer a serious injury, of course, the matter may be out of your hands. Otherwise, you can gather information that will be very helpful to those who will have an interest in knowing what happened.
The importance of recording or jotting down accident details will only be topped by the need for you to seek medical help, no matter how minor you believe your injuries are.
You will, of course, exchange insurance information with the other driver, but be sure you also get his or her contact information. Take the names and contact information for any passengers in the vehicles and for any witnesses to the accident. When a law enforcement officer arrives on the scene, write down his or her name and badge number.
Note important signs and the elements
Pinpoint the location of the accident. Document any markers, such as stop signs, traffic lights, nearby freeway exits--in other words, anything of note that helps to locate the crash site. Also jot down weather conditions. Was it a rainy day? A foggy night? Was the road slippery? Were there any obstacles in the roadway?
Your cellphone will come in handy following an accident because, in addition to being able to call for help, you can use it to snap pictures. Take photos of the crash scene and the damage to your vehicle from different angles. Take similar photos of the other vehicle or vehicles involved. Also, ask a friend to take pictures of any visible injuries you might have.
Gather other useful evidence
The information you gather will be valuable to your attorney in establishing liability for the accident. Along with a doctor's report that links your injuries directly to crash, the details you provide will strengthen your case and improve your chances for appropriate financial compensation.