Being in a car wreck is a shocking experience. If you’re in a wreck, you need to think clearly, at a time when clear thinking may be difficult. Keep the following checklist in your phone or your car so that if you have an accident, you’re ready with all the documents you need for insurance and/or an attorney.
At the scene of the accident:
____ Answer the following questions to cover all the details:
- How did the accident happen?
- What direction was each car going when the accident occurred?
- What were the conditions? (rainy, bright sun, construction etc.)
- Were there any distractions? (talking or texting on a cell phone)
- Were there any witnesses? (get names and contact info)
- Who is the other driver? (name, phone number, insurance information)
____ Take photos
- Photograph from all angles to include all exterior damage
- Photograph the car interiors if damaged
- Take a picture of the license plates for reference
- Take photos of the surroundings (property damage, car parts left on the street, skid marks, etc.)
____ Get a copy of the police accident report, and keep a copy of the ticket if you receive one. You will need to contact the city, county, or state agency that issued the report. Be prepared to provide: date and location of the accident, names of drivers involved, and/or the name/badge number of the officer who prepared the report.
____ Request a copy of the statement you give, if you talk with an insurance company. You are not always required to give a statement if you hire an attorney prior to talking with the insurance company.
____ Document any lost wages as a result of time off work from the accident. Time off may include doctor, chiropractic, or physical therapy visits, and time spent taking your car to the repair shop.