If you are involved in a car accident, you may feel like you want to quickly determine who was a fault. There are some things you can do and should do while at the crash scene – provided you are not injured. Obviously, if you or others have been hurt, getting medical treatment should be the first priority.
Gather basic details and take photos at the scene
It may be important later on to know what each witness saw. Collect names, insurance information and contact details from those involved in the accident and witnesses as you are able. This gives you and your lawyer a way to follow up later.
Take photos right away of the vehicles involved, the damage that was caused and the general scene. Also, be sure to take photos of the license plates of the vehicles involved and of any witness vehicles, if possible. This will greatly help in tracking down those responsible and any witnesses if they are unwilling or unable to give you their contact information. This information can be very helpful if you need to pursue a claim for damages.
Some questions you can ask
A car accident is often a stressful event for both you and those who witness it. And, sometimes the police don’t ask the questions, arguing that the insurance companies will handle those details. This is why you may want to ask questions if witnesses are willing to talk with you. Here are a few you can use:
- Where were you when the crash happened?
- Which direction were the cars driving?
- How fast was each vehicle traveling?
When talking to witnesses or other involved in the accident, don’t endanger yourself or others. If someone you are talking to starts to get agitated or defensive, just stop asking questions.
Take notes as soon as you can
You may not be able to remember later what witnesses tell you. This is why you will want to write down or record notes on your cellphone right away. If witnesses do not object, you may also want to use your smartphone to record what they say. All of this information may be very helpful if you end up involved in a personal injury lawsuit.