Hopefully, you will never end up in a serious car accident, but if it happens, you may help yourself by knowing what information to gather shortly after the wreck. You may have incurred serious injuries from the accident, so you should have the right information to help you pursue damages and counter any claims that you were responsible for the accident.
Nerdwallet explains what pieces of information you should attempt to gather if you are able to move about following your accident.
Information from the other driver
When you speak with the driver who collided with you, you should learn the driver’s name and insurance information. You should also write down the license plate number of the driver’s vehicle. This could be critical if the driver suddenly leaves the scene. Also consider asking for the driver’s phone number or other contact information, as the driver may be willing to provide it.
Information from the police
Once you have called the police, an officer should come by to look at the scene and write up a report. Make sure to get the number of the police report. This way, you will know you have an objective account of your accident and how to look it up. Also write down the name and badge number of the officer taking the report.
Witness contact information
Some people may have seen your accident occur. If you notice any witnesses, consider approaching them to see if they verify your account of the crash. If so, ask for their contact information. Their accounts may support your claims if the other driver tries to argue that you were at fault.
Make personal notes
Jot down any detail you can remember about what happened as soon as you can. The more time that passes, the more likely you will forget some of the details, especially if you have suffered a head injury. Also write down details of your surroundings, like the street name signs and traffic signs, as well as other physical landmarks.
You might further help yourself by taking pictures of the accident with your phone. These images could support your account of what happened. Even if a crash reconstruction team tries to determine how your crash occurred, it is still possible for evidence to go missing or become lost.