You have just been in an accident. What is the 1st step to document a claim for the injuries you suffered in this accident? You! You know more about this accident than any insurance adjuster, any attorney or any friend because you and only you were there.
Whether you choose to go it alone, hire the Brooks Law Group or another attorney, gathering information at the scene will do nothing but help you later in the case.
For most of us, a car accident is an unusual life event. Consequently, when we are in an accident it’s difficult to know what to do. Let me reassure you this is not complicated. In fact, if you can keep a level head and use common sense by taking a few simple steps at the accident scene you can go a long way to benefit and document your case. This will assist you or your attorney later when making a claim for your injuries.
Safety first & foremost
- If your vehicle is in a dangerous position, move it to a safe location
- Check to see if any passengers in your car were injured, if needed call 911
- When taking in photos of the scene make sure you are safe. You do want to be a pedestrian casualty.
Your Mobile Phone – your greatest tool
Use your phone to:
- call the police to report the accident
- call 911 if needed for injured persons
- take pictures and a video of the accident scene
- take pictures and video of the damage to the other drivers car
- take pictures and video of the damage to your vehicle
- take pictures of skid marks on the road
- call your insurance agent to report the accident
Statements made at the scene almost always hurt more than they help
- Be careful about offering apologies. As human beings if we feel we were at fault sometimes we will apologize. An apology may be mistaken as an admission of guilt.
- Never admit fault. Be honest and truthful with the police but do not assume responsibility for the accident. Policemen are trained professionals and will come to their own conclusions. Speak with an attorney or at the very minimum with your insurance company before accepting any blame for the accident.
- Other than the police do not discuss your version of the facts of the accident with anybody at the scene. You can and should speak with witnesses at the scene, get their contact information and listen to what they have to say about the accident without detailing your thoughts.
DO not sign ANY document at the scene other than the police report.