If you are ever in an auto accident, the steps you take in the moments following this accident can have a huge impact on just how much compensation you receive for any injuries that you have suffered. This is because even a qualified auto accident attorney will not be able to recreate the evidence that you can collect in the moments directly following your accident. Once you have walked away from the accident scene, this evidence will be lost forever if you fail to collect it first. This is why you should always complete the following steps before walking away from an auto accident.
Step #1: Take Photographs
As the old saying goes, "a picture is worth a thousand words". While you can try and tell your attorney or the insurance company about the weather conditions, road conditions, or other factors that contributed to your accident, your words will never be as effective as being able to show them exactly what the scene looked like on the day of your accident. So if you are ever in an auto accident, pick up your cellphone or other mobile device and begin taking pictures of:
- all vehicles involved in the accident, including their location and damage
- any obstacles in the road
- the current weather conditions
- any posted traffic signs, such as a stop or yield sign
- the location of any witnesses
- any other factors that you believe led to your accident
Step #2: Collect Driver Information
You will also need to collect information from the drivers of any other vehicles involved in your accident. This information should include:
- driver's license number
- current phone number
- insurance information
- full name
If the other driver admits liability at the scene, you may also want to ask them if they will provide you with a written statement confirming this. This written statement will prevent them from challenging liability after you have filed a claim against their insurance.
Step #3: Collect Witness Information
Finally, you will want to collect information from anyone who may have witnessed your accident. This information should include:
- their full name
- contact info and preferred method of contact
- a short statement regarding what they saw
Remember, many of the people who may have witnessed your accident were also on their way to somewhere important. So try and be quick when dealing with witnesses. A very basic statement and a way to contact them later will be all you need. If more information is required from a particular witness, your attorney will be able to contact this witness at a later date in order to schedule a deposition.
The more information you collect directly following your accident, the more likely you will be to successfully obtain the compensation that you deserve. However, this information alone may not be enough to convince the insurance company to offer a fair settlement. This is why it is so important to always turn over any evidence you collect to a qualified accident attorney, such as from George T. Bochanis Law Offices, who will be able to present this evidence in the most compelling way.