Given that a motor vehicle accident can seriously upend your life with medical bills and car repair expenses, you should understand how to handle the aftermath of a car wreck. Collecting certain kinds of information immediately following a collision could help you if you pursue damages against a responsible party.
Assuming you are conscious and able to walk after an auto collision, you will likely interact with certain parties at the scene. Nerdwallet describes what information to ask for depending on who you talk to.
Information from the other driver
If you can talk with the motorist who hit your vehicle, you should try to learn the name of the driver and, if possible, get the driver’s phone number. Further information can include the name of the driver’s insurer and policy number. This information could prove crucial if you seek compensation.
Information from witnesses
Pay attention to people who are nearby. They may have witnessed your collision and can verify your account of the collision. If one or more witnesses give you their contact information, you may call upon them to confirm your story in the event the other driver disputes your account.
Information from the police
If you call the police, an officer will show up and write a report on your accident. The report can include a lot of details concerning the accident, like the time and date, a description of the scene, the condition of the weather, and witness accounts.
You may ask the attending officer for the number of the police report. This can help you get a copy of it later on. You could also request the badge number of the officer so you know who reported on your accident.
Gather other evidence
In addition to gathering information, you may bolster your claim with additional evidence. If your smartphone works, you can take pictures and video of the accident scene. Also make notes of the incident while details remain fresh in your mind. Remember that the insurance company for the other driver will likely look for any way to discredit your claims, so documenting any detail of the accident could make the difference.