5 Things to Immediately Document After a Wreck

Written by on January 20, 2022 in Stuff with 0 Comments
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In the immediate aftermath of a wreck or traffic accident, you’ll likely be scared and shaken up.

You may even be injured.

Of course, medical care is the foremost priority.

Always make sure to call 911, and to get treated for any injuries you may have.

But there’s also another part to this process that it’s in your best interest to take seriously.

Documenting the Evidence

Here’s the thing.

If this matter ends up becoming a legal battle, you’re going to want as much evidence on your side as possible.

If the other person was at fault, and you suffered as a result of their careless or reckless behavior, you are likely owed compensation.

But to get it, you’ll probably need to jump through some legal hurdles.

So let’s talk about the 5 things that you should immediately document in the wake of an accident.

(Note: this post is for informational purposes only, and should not be considered legal advice. For actual legal advice, contact certified licensed attorneys, such as JT Legal Group, to get your questions answered.  

You can also check out this piece of content, written by JT Legal Group for the aftermath of motorcycle accidents for more specific instructions about what to do if you were involved in a motorcycle accident.)

1. Get The Other Driver’s Information

You’ll want to exchange information with the other driver.

This is very important.

At the very least, you’ll want to document:

  • Their full name
  • Their contact information, including their phone number, address, and email address
  • Their insurance information, including the policy number and effective dates

For best results, make sure to get a photo of their insurance document as well.

If you’re uncomfortable with talking to the other driver alone, you can wait for the police to show up and get their help in assisting with this exchange of information.

2. Get Information About The Other Vehicle

You’ll also want to gather some crucial information about the other vehicle.

Some of this information will include:

  • The make, model, and color of the vehicle
  • The license plate number
  • Photographs of the vehicle and the license plate

3. Document The Accident Scene

This is actually really important.

For this, you’ll want to use your phone camera to take photos of the scene.

For best results, take as many pictures as possible, from different angles and distances.

You can also take video evidence of the scene.

Some things that you’ll want to document will include:

  • Damage to your vehicle
  • The damage to the other vehicles
  • The general overall ‘layout’ of the accident scene
  • The scale of the accident
  • Pictures of the surrounding area, including any damage done to non-vehicular structures
  • Interior damage to the vehicles
  • Photos of anything else that might help you to describe how the accident occurred if you need to explain it in a courtroom later

4. Get A Copy Of The Police Report

After the police have written up the report, make sure to get a copy of it.

If for some reason you can’t get a copy on-scene, make sure to get the contact information for all of the officers present so that you can request it later.

Also, make sure to get information from the officers about how to request a copy of the accident report later.

5. Collect Information From Witnesses

If anyone witnessed the accident, make sure to get not only quotes and statements from them about what happened—but also their contact information so that your lawyer can contact them later on.

Special Note: Never Admit Fault

You never want to admit fault in the wake of an accident.

If you do, your statement can be used against you in later legal processes.

Avoid discussing fault at all, and let your lawyer handle those types of statements.

At the very least, your insurance adjuster will make an initial determination about fault—but in any case, avoid discussing this not only with the police but also with the other driver.

Conclusion

There you have it. 5 things that you always want to document in the wake of an accident.

Hopefully, this will never happen to you. But if it does, you always want to be covered. Now, you know what to do.

Stay safe out there!

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