Even careful drivers will probably have at least one motor vehicle collision in their lifetime. That makes it important that motorists know what to do after an accident.
If there are any injured parties on the scene, it is essential to make sure they get medical attention as soon as possible. However, once everyone present is safe, gathering insurance, vehicle and other information is also important.
Driver, passenger and vehicle identification
If possible, it is a good idea to take down the full names, addresses and contact information for both the other drivers involved and any passengers. Other information to gather includes insurance company names and policy numbers and the make, year and model of any vehicles involved.
Police and witness contacts
Drivers should make sure to ask officers who arrive for their names and badge numbers. It can be helpful to ensure that officers get a basic factual account of the accident as well. While it is not necessary to discuss the accident with bystanders, it may be a good idea to ask witnesses for their contact information as well.
Photos and video
Photographs and videos taken with either a mobile phone or a traditional camera can be very important. The positions of vehicles, the presence of road debris, weather conditions and any injuries or property damage are all examples of photos that can help capture the facts of the scene.
Those involved in an auto collision may need to provide proof to insurance companies before they can receive needed compensation. They might also have to defend themselves against claims of negligence. That makes it essential to gather as many facts as possible before negotiating a fair settlement.