Gathering the proper information after an accident is imperative. The more information you gather, the easier it will be to file an insurance claim against the at-fault driver. Also, it will be helpful to the legal representative you hire after the car accident in evaluating your claim. It is best to collect information at the accident scene, as this is typically the most convenient time. If you don’t collect information at the scene, it could be hard to track down the driver later.
What Do I Need to Ask For?
At a bare minimum, you should collect the following from the other driver(s) involved:
- First and last name;
- Driver’s license number;
- Phone number;
- Vehicle information – Make and Model, Year, License Plate; and
- Insurance information, including
- Insurance company,
- Phone number of insurance company,
- Policy number (make sure that the policy number is valid),
- Term date (again to ensure the policy is valid and
- Claim number, if possible.
Do I Need Anyone Else’s Information?
If there are any independent witnesses that observed the collision, you should get the following information from them:
- Phone number;
- Address; and
- Brief description of the accident.
Is There Anything Else I Should Do?
Yes – as you wait for police to arrive, you should use your smartphone to take photos of the accident scene and the vehicles involved, including the property damage of the vehicles. You should also try to photograph the weather, debris or damage to the road, vehicles’ positions, and traffic signs or lights.
Note: With smartphones, gathering information is easier than ever before. Just take a photo of the driver’s license, license plate, insurance card, and other information.
Why You Need to Be Proactive About Gathering Information
Gathering information after an accident is paramount to achieving a successful outcome in your claim or case. In certain cases, you may be too injured to gather every detail. When this happens, focus first on medical treatment, and getting the information you need later. Your passengers, police officers, or even your lawyer can gather information in these cases.
Once you have all of the above information, you’ll need to organize it in a meaningful way to build your case. For legal support during the claims process, reach out to the Beliz Law Firm today. We offer free consultations, and we’re always ready to listen to the facts of your case.