There is a lot that will happen in the moments immediately following a car accident. In fact, it can seem rather overwhelming, but knowing what information you need ahead of time will help you protect your rights from the outset. Naturally, the most important thing is to take care of yourself and any passenger to make sure the injuries are not that serious. As soon as you are able, there is some information that you will want to gather to help you in the days and weeks following the accident. This information will also prove invaluable to an attorney, should you choose to retain one.
Take Extensive Notes
The moments immediately following a car accident from your memory’s point of view. It is amazing how much we tend to forget, or how the facts can become distorted over time. This is particularly true in the aftermath of a traumatic event such as a car accident. In order to ensure that this does not happen to you, write down everything you remember from the accident. Many smartphones today have a digital recording function, so you can make use of this as well. The important this is to write any critical detail you can remember about the accident so that you can get it right when talking to the police, and later to a lawyer.
Gather Contact Information
You will want to begin by gathering as much information from the other party involved in the accident. Particularly helpful will be his or her full name, along with a telephone number. You will also want to exchange any pertinent insurance information as well. This is the data that your lawyer will need to begin working on an effective and swift resolution to your case. Also, if there are any witnesses to the accident who stop to lend assistance, you will want to try to get their contact information, along with an account of what they saw. Remember, this is not a time to argue or try to explain your side of the story. This is a time to just get information, and then allow your lawyer to sort out the other details at a later time.
Pictures truly do paint a thousand words, particularly when it comes to a car accident. With so many drivers today having a smartphone or digital camera with them at all times, it is quite possible that you will be able to snap off more than a few quick pictures almost immediately after the accident. Make sure that both vehicles are in a safe location, and look out for any additional traffic. As soon as it is safe to do so, take pictures of both vehicles from a variety of angles, the intersection, and anything else that you feel might be of value to an investigator or your lawyer. Do not count on the police alone. Take a bunch of pictures and allow them all to be sorted out later as to their usefulness.
Make Sure the Police Are Called to the Scene
Even if you feel that accident is a minor one, the police should still be called to the scene. This is because a police report will be generated, and this is information that will prove invaluable to your attorney as well. The police will write a detailed account of the accident and issue their own findings. They should be your first call as soon as you are confident that everyone is ok, or that medical assistance is on the way.
If you have been involved in a car accident anywhere in the Los Angeles area, contact our office right away for a legal consultation.