We’ve already covered in brief what you should do if you find yourself in a traffic accident. With this entry, we’re going to get a bit more specific, covering the information you should gather after an accident.
Once you’ve made sure there are no injuries and that the police are on their way, you’re going to want to get as much information as possible. The more information you get, the fewer headaches you’ll have when it comes time to dealing with insurance companies or any resulting legal action. The information you want at a bare minimum includes:
• The names of all drivers involved
• The driver’s license numbers, addresses, and phone numbers of all drivers involved
• The insurance companies and policy numbers of all drivers involved
• The license plate numbers of all vehicles involved, as well as their color, make, year, and model
• The names, addresses, and phone numbers of all car occupants, pedestrians (if they were involved in the accident) and any witnesses to the accident
• The name, department, and badge number of the police officer at the scene
• The actual location of the accident
This may seem like a lot, but the more you get right away, the less trouble you’ll have later.
We understand that an accident is a stressful time, and dealing with the post-adrenaline rush may be difficult. However, if you can also be watchful for other important information, such as the following, you’ll be ahead of the game in the future:
• Did anyone appear to be under the influence of alcohol or drugs?
• What time of day did the accident occur?
• What were the weather conditions?
• Was anything wrong with the vehicles prior to the accident, such as a broken taillight? Compare this to the damage to the vehicles caused by the accident.
• Did anyone accept responsibility, or make a statement which indicates that they might have been at fault? (Perhaps saying “I’m sorry,” “I was on my cell,” “I wasn’t paying attention,” etc.)
About this last point, this is important: Be careful what you say, as it can be used in legal action against you. You may feel sorry and you may think it’s your fault, but at the time of the accident, you don’t have all the facts. Immediately call your lawyer so that you are aware of what to say and what not to say. Also, write down what others have said.
Don’t forget that, in this era of smartphones, you probably have a camera with you while you’re driving. Taking copious amounts of pictures at the scene will help you with any future claims, and will decrease the amount of information you’ll need to physically write down (like weather conditions, the location of the accident, and the description of the cars involved).
If you find yourself a victim in an accident, you’ll want the best when it comes to legal representation. The Law Offices of John Critzos II only handles these sorts of cases, so you can rest assured we have the experience to assist you. For more information, please do not hesitate to contact us.
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