Car accidents can take a physical and emotional toll on those involved. Whether it’s a serious collision or a fender-bender, many people get caught up in the moment and forget to follow certain post-accident procedures that result in a successful insurance claim or personal injury lawsuit.
If you have been injured in a car accident, one of the most important things to do is to document the scene of the crash. Since the insurance adjuster you will be submitting the claim to was not present at the time you were harmed in a car collision, he or she will need all the documents—including evidence gathered at the accident scene—possible in order to evaluate your claim.
The following are several ways to properly document a car accident:
- Take notes – Write down details at the scene of the collision. These notes will help your claims adjuster review your case, and can be vital if your case goes to court. It can take months to settle your claim, which means there is enough time to forget important details of the accident. Jot down the other driver’s contact and insurance information, what happened, who was driving, what caused the accident, the speed you were driving, the conditions of the road, and those who witnessed the accident.
- Photograph the scene – While cellphones are considered a distraction when driving, their ability to take pictures and record video can be a useful tool when it comes to documenting a car accident. Photos can really strengthen your case. If you can, take pictures of all cars involved (interior and exterior), the positions of the vehicles at the crash scene, vehicle license plates, injuries of everyone involved, debris, skid marks, and car parts from the accident.
- Retain all documentation – Make sure you keep everything all in one place so you can give all the documents related to the crash to your car insurance claims adjuster. This includes bills, receipts, and estimates that are associated with your injuries and property damage.
- File a claim – When you file your claim with the insurance adjuster, submit all documentation, such as notes, photos, the police report, receipts, and bills.