After a car accident, safety is your priority. But when the accident is not your fault, it is also important to focus on protecting your right to compensation. Unfortunately, an auto accident can lead to legal complications. These concerns can influence your future, your health, and your finances, so it is important to do everything you can to secure the compensation you deserve.
The Importance of Documentation
Document as much information related to your accident as possible. This includes facts about the scene of the collision and other factors.
When you interact with the other driver, law enforcement, and witnesses, always be polite and courteous. Do not try to pass the blame or accuse the other driver of making a mistake. Additionally, avoid making statements like "I'm sorry," because the insurance company or other driver may try to use them against you.
You will need the following information from the other parties involved:
- Names and contact information of any drivers involved in the accident
- Car insurance information of everyone involved
- Names and contact information of witnesses
In addition to gathering information from witnesses and other drivers, you will want to provide information to certain parties as well. However, it is important to protect your identity by only providing personal information when it is necessary.
Generally speaking, you only need to provide your name, vehicle information (year, make, model, and VIN), your insurance company, insurance agent's phone number, and your insurance policy number.
Never allow the other driver or a witness to photograph your driver's license or your vehicle registration. Additionally, you are not obligated to provide your address or contact information to other drivers, witnesses, or passengers.
Getting the Right Information & Pictures
If your cell phone doesn't have a camera, keep a disposable one in your vehicle; after an accident, you may need it to document evidence about the wreck. If possible, take pictures of the scene of the accident. This includes:
- License plates
- Damage to your vehicle and other vehicles
- Property damage (non-vehicular)
- Debris, skid marks, etc. caused by the accident
- Identifiable landmarks, street signs to identify location
- Visible injuries
- Any "contributing factors," such as a concealed street sign
In addition to taking pictures of the scene, damage, and vehicles, it is important to write down as much information about the accident as possible. You might need to know the time, date, and weather conditions, for example.
No matter what took place after an accident, it's wise to consult with an experienced accident attorney who can help you learn more about your rights and how much compensation you may be entitled to receive. If you need help, call The Daspit Law Firm to request a FREE consultation.