Getting into a car accident can be an intense experience that may leave you feeling shell-shocked and just wishing to get back home to process everything. But while getting back to a sense of normalcy is important, it’s also important to make sure that you’re documenting all of the necessary evidence that you’ll need when you need to file a claim later. Whether it’s damage to your property or to your person, you deserve the necessary compensation to help you navigate life moving forward. To make sure that you’re properly protected, here are five important items to document before leaving a car wreck.
1. Your Physical State
The most important thing to check and document when you get into a car accident is your physical state. Check to make sure that you haven’t been hurt. If you’ve experienced something serious like a loss of consciousness, severe abdominal pain, or severe head pain, reach out to emergency services immediately. Getting prompt medical care will help document your state for both insurance claims and car accident claims.
2. The State of Your Passengers
If you are okay or if you’re able to move around with minimal discomfort, check on any passengers next. Document their condition and call for help for them as well. Learning the proper first aid techniques before you get into an accident can make a world of difference if a passenger or even someone else in the other car has been seriously injured during the crash.
3. Damage Caused by the Accident
Gathering the evidence you need to demonstrate the exact damage that took place during the car accident will help you immensely during a claim. While police will also log this for you, you should take your own photos with your phone of all the damage that your car has experienced. Make sure to get all the necessary angles as well as any close-ups of hard-to-see areas.
4. The Other Driver’s Information
Try to memorize the other driver’s license plate as best you can as not every driver will have the sense to stick around after an accident. If they do, get all of their important personal information like their license number, license plate, insurance information, address, and phone number. Much like with the damage, the police will make sure to document this information as well once they’re on the scene.
5. Witness Statements
Having witnesses who can corroborate the events that took place can support your claim and ensure that you can prove you weren’t at fault. Gather whatever statements you can after the accidents and get all of the names and contact information from these individuals. You’ll thank yourself later.
Getting into a car accident isn’t something we anticipate, so many of us aren’t prepared when it happens. If you’re looking to educate and protect yourself ahead of time, use the guide above to learn which items are the most important to document shortly after an accident takes place. Remember, being proactive can make a significant difference in ensuring a smoother claims process and safeguarding your rights.