Even a relatively minor collision can lead to costly property damage and injuries that require extensive, specialized medical care.
While insurance may cover these expenses, receiving the full compensation you need will require filing the strongest claim possible. That makes it essential to gather as much information as you safely can immediately after a collision.
1. Driver insurance and contact information
In addition to the other driver’s full name and phone number, make sure to gather the following:
- Auto insurance company name and policy number
- Driver’s license and license plate numbers
- The year, make and model of the vehicle
2. Witness contact information
Witnesses to the scene may be able to provide an immediate account of the collision as well as later testimony. Ask bystanders if they would be willing to help with your case and take down their names and contact information.
3. Accident report information
If possible, speak with officers who arrive at the scene and make sure they have the correct account of the incident in their report. Record their names and badge numbers and request the report number, if available.
4. Photographic information
In addition to photographs of your injuries and damage to vehicles, take pictures and video of the scene itself. The position of cars, the presence or absence of road signs or signals, weather conditions and other details can help provide crucial context later.
The steps you take in the immediate aftermath of a collision can make all the difference if you need to file a claim or become involved in a lawsuit. While no one plans to be in an accident, it may be helpful to keep a short checklist of key items to document along with your insurance information.