What Information Do I Need To Collect At The Scene Of A Traffic Accident?
After a car collision occurs, the police or — and sometimes both — your insurance company will need to decide who was at fault for the accident.
To do this, you’ll need to exchange your contact and insurance information with the other driver and any police officer that comes to the scene.
Your goal in collecting this information is to help later prove the other driver committed negligence.
To prove negligence in court, three elements must be met:
- The driver was legally required to be “reasonably careful in the particular situation;.”
- The driver was not reasonably careful.
- The driver’s actions caused actual injury or damage to someone.
To help prove these things, take notes before leaving the scene. You can take the notes in your phone, email, or on paper. Start with which direction you were traveling and what you were doing, such as driving straight, switching lanes, or making a turn.
Note the other passengers in your car, the time of the accident, and the weather conditions. Including as many details as possible will only help, such as what you saw, heard, and felt. If you heard anyone say anything about the accident before or after, write that down too. Also, note if anyone was injured.
Before you leave the scene, take photos with your phone to document any damage to your car, injuries you or other passengers suffered, the time of the accident, and any traffic signs nearby you feel the other driver violated. In court or insurance negotiation, you may need these photos as crucial evidence.
In the coming days, take additional notes about how your injuries progressed and any medical attention needed.
What Should I Do If I’ve Been In A Traffic Accident?
If you’ve been in a traffic accident, call the police and any appropriate medical services right away. After everyone is stable, then start collecting the recommended information.
Next, call Hyland & Padilla’s offices right away. Even if your case doesn’t go to court, we can help negotiate on your behalf to ensure you receive the most compensation possible to remedy the accident’s damage and any medical bills you need to pay.