To protect your legal rights, if you are injured as a result of an accident you should begin gathering information as soon as possible. The best time to get facts, documents, witness contact information, photographs and other relevant materials, is often right after your accident has occurred. This is when memories are often most clear and reliable – when skid marks on the roadway, and the angle of the sun, can best be documented and preserved.
Important Information You Should Try to Gather If You Are Injured
1. Names, addresses, contact info of any parties at fault, witnesses, police and/or emergency personnel.
2. If the police arrive, ask the officer to prepare a report. Don’t assume that the Police will automatically complete an accident report. In fact, some officers do not want to complete an accident report. as the takes time away from some of their other duties. If they are reluctant to complete a report, ask them respectfully to take the time to write even an abbreviated or short form report.
3. Relevant insurance information – including name of Insurance Company, Policy Number, Name on the Policy, and Phone Numbers.
4. Use your Cell Phone to take Photographs of the accident scene, property damage, road conditions, the other vehicles involved in the crash, the inside of the car that caused the accident, etc. Sometimes there can be evidence of distracted driving issues where, for instance, a person was eating or drinking immediately prior to the crash.
5. Ask questions!! In the case of a car accident, for instance, does the other driver have a cell phone? Was the other driver using it at the time of the crash?
6. Be observant. In an world of “Distracted Driving” was there anything in the car? Passengers, items on the front seat, or something else in the car might have some relevance to the crash.
7. Report an Accident right away to your Insurer, Employer, and Doctor (seek appropriate medical attention and report all of your symptoms when you see the ER Doctor, your family physician, etc.)
8. Contact a Lawyer as soon as possible. Insurance Companies and Employers have legal and claims representatives to assist them. You should seriously consider having your own legal representation.
9. Try to tell the Ambulance Personnel, ER Nurses and Doctors all of the areas of your body where you are hurting and in pain. Ask them to write down all of your complaints accurately, as they are sometimes distracted and quite busy with other emergencies and treating other patients in the ER and Hospital.