Right After the Accident:
Immediately after your accident, there are a number of things to do right away to support any claims you may decide to make: These important first steps include:
- Get Information: Obtain the other driver’s name, address, phone number and email address. Also, get the driver's insurance information, including company, policy number and contact information. You can photograph the driver's insurance card, driver's license or license plate.
- Get Witnesses: Write the names, addresses, phone numbers and email addresses of any witness to your accident.
- Get Photos: Photograph any damage to your vehicle, the vehicle of the other driver, and any personal injuries you may have suffered.
- Get Police: You should always call the police after an accident, then obtain the police report. This helps to document any wrongdoing of the other driver and to resolve any disputes about what happened.
- Get Medical Attention: It is important to seek medical attention right away to document your condition right after the accident.
In the Days and Weeks After the Accident:
In the following days and weeks after your accident, you will need to keep track of dates, times, conversations, activities and expenses related to your accident. These may include:
- Medical Expenses: You will want to keep a record of any emergency room visits, hospital stays, doctor appointments, physical therapy, mental health visits or dentist appointments. Keep receipts for any medical treatments, prescriptions or over-the-counter medications.
- Auto Repair Expenses: Before repairing your vehicle, get multiple estimates in addition to any estimates provided by the insurance company. Keep any receipts for repairs, and photograph any progress on the repairs.
- Other Expenses: Keep any records or receipts of anything that might be related to your personal injury (rental car, childcare, etc.) just in case you need it later on.
- Missed Work or School: Keep track of any missed work or school, including communications with bosses or teachers. Note any lost wages or lost opportunities related to your injury.
- Contact Witnesses: It is important to reach out to witnesses to obtain statements as early as possible, while the accident is fresh on their mind.
- Photos: Document the progress of your injury with photographs, creating a visual log of your suffering.
- Other Damages: You may want to write down each day any thoughts of any pain, suffering or mental anguish related to your injury, as such feelings may be difficult to prove without documentation.
- Don't admit fault at the scene of your accident. You may not know entirely what happened, and it is best to avoid such statements.
- Don't stop any medical treatments or therapies until completed as prescribed by your doctor.
- Don't provide any written or oral statements without first asking your attorney.
- Don't settle your case without first understanding the full extent of your injuries.
- Don't give away the only copy of receipts or records (make photo copies)
- DO seek out a personal injury attorney to ensure the best possible compensation for your injuries and damages.