Important Information to Exchange After a Car Accident

Eric Valles Apr 18th, 2018 Personal Injury

*This is a guest post from another attorney. The author’s views are his own, and do not necessarily reflect the views of our firm. This does not constitute an endorsement of any attorney or firm.

Important-Information-to-Exchange-After-a-Car-AccidentImmediately following a car accident, it can be difficult to think and act rationally. You may be so concerned about the fact that your car has been damaged and you’ve suffered serious injuries that your first thought may be just to seek medical care. And while you should get emergency care when injuries demand it, if you are able to, there is important information that you should prioritize exchanging and collecting at the accident scene.

 

Contact Information of the Other Driver

One of the of most important pieces of information to collect after a car accident is the name and contact information of the other driver. Fortunately, if a police report is filed, this information will likely be available on that report as well. However, if you need to contact the other driver after the accident–for example, to get information about their insurance policy–having their contact information on hand will prove helpful.

 

Vehicle Make, Model, License Plate Number

When you file a police report or a car insurance claim, knowing the vehicle make, model, and license plate number of the car that hit you is important. In the event that your accident is a hit-and-run, this information will prove especially useful in (hopefully) tracking down the responsible driver.

 

Insurance Information

In order to file a claim with the other driver’s insurance company, you’ll need to acquire information as to who the insurance provider is. You may also ask the other driver about their policy–like how much they carry in liability coverage–for your own peace of mind, although doing so is not always necessary.

 

Contact Information of Any Witnesses

If there were any witnesses to your accident, getting their contact information, as well as jotting down a brief description of what they saw, is a must. Witness testimony can be critical in a car accident claim, and may help to determine fault and have an effect on the amount of damages you are able to recover.

 

Other Information that Matters

In addition to exchanging the information above–make sure you give the other driver your information, too!–you should also take time to collect evidence if possible. This might include:

 

  • Taking photos of the accident scene, including the position of vehicles, exterior and interior vehicle damage, skid marks, traffic signs, etc.;
  • Photographing or making a note of your injuries;
  • Writing down your version of events while it’s fresh in your memory;
  • Making a note about the weather at the time of your accident and the time and date of crash; and
  • Making a note about potential video or camera footage that may exist. For example, if there is a nearby business, there is a chance that the business’ security footage captured your crash. Write this down to follow up on at a later date.

 

Contact an Experienced Car Accident Attorney

After you have collected and exchanged as much information as possible, you should contact an experienced car accident attorney. Share the information you’ve collected with your attorney, who can follow up with the other driver, the insurance company, any witnesses, and any potential sources of video evidence. Your attorney can follow up with all parties, and start to collect evidence to build your claim.

 

About the Author

Scott J. Allen has 20 years of experience litigating and trying cases in state and federal courts as a Personal Injury Attorney in Santa Cruz, California. He has also helped countless clients resolve disputes through alternative dispute resolution mechanisms such as mediation and arbitration.