Picture this. You’ve just been in a car accident and are standing in the middle of a busy residential street. Your child is in the car; they are safe but crying very loudly. Your airbag went off; it smells like rubber and pavement, and you are shaking from head to toe. There is so much running through your head at a rapid lightning speed! You had the sense to call 911, so help should be there soon… but what do you do in the meantime?
The moments after a car accident are crucial! At this exact time, you are your best advocate. Here’s a list of exactly what information you should collect at the scene of your accident
What to Exchange After a Car Accident: Five Must-Haves
1. The Who
You need to document who was involved in the accident and who, if anyone, saw what happened. Make sure to capture the following for everyone involved in the accident and who witnessed the scene:
- Phone numbers,
- Addresses, and
- Email addresses.
Tip: Always carry a small notebook and a pen in your car glove box! If you don’t have one handy, use your phone to text, send yourself an email or, if you are unable to manually gather information, use the voice recorder feature.
2. The Where
Get an exact address for where your accident has occurred. If you are in front of a building with street numbers, note those. Otherwise, take down the street names and cross streets of your exact location.
Tip: Again, put that cell phone to use! Snap pics of the street address and street names for your record keeping.
3. The What
What happened during your accident? If you’ve been in a car accident, the best thing you can do is to have a clear visual record of what happened. An experienced attorney, like the team at Green Law Firm, will help gather evidence to make your case strong and compelling. But this begins with you, right at the time of the incident!
Using your cell phone, snap pictures of:
- All the vehicles involved in the accident, from every angle, including the front, side, and rear,
- The scene around the accident, including all debris (like glass, metal or rubber) and tire marks,
- Any objects or noticeable things that may have contributed to the accident, including trees, stoplights, or other items obstructing the view, and
- Any objects damaged in the accident besides vehicles, like fences, property or road signs.
Tip: Slip an old-school disposable camera into your glove box. This way you will always have access to a camera! If your cell phone is damaged in the crash, left behind or simply not working, you’ll still be able to take pictures that can later be used to help get you the compensation you deserve!
4. Insurance information
You will want to get insurance information for all participants involved in the accident. Make sure to note:
- The company name,
- Policy number, and
- Contact phone number for the insurance company.
Tip: You may be tempted to chat while exchanging information. Say as little as possible and never admit fault in any way! Be polite and cordial but don’t feel like you have to chat. This may be hard if the person responsible for the accident is apologizing profusely! Never say “it’s no big deal” or “don’t worry about it, it’s ok” when they say they are sorry.
5. Emergency services
If emergency services, like police officers, arrive at your scene then your goal is to be polite and courteous to them. Make sure to capture:
- The police report number,
- Names and badge numbers of all officers, and
- Contact or station phone number for the officers on duty.
Tip: How you conduct yourself with emergency services can be valuable in your case. If you are seeking compensation for damages, it can only be helpful to your case that you were compliant and polite at the accident scene. Refrain from pointing blame when you speak and, if asked questions, focus only on the facts that you know to be true from your perspective.
How Green Law Firm Uses Evidence to Get the Compensation You Deserve
South Carolina follows the statute of comparative negligence. This means that someone can be partially responsible for a car accident they were involved with. You can be up to 51 percent responsible for your accident and still be able to get compensated for damages! The less responsible you are for the accident you’ve been in, the greater the percentage of compensation you will be eligible to receive.
Green Law Firm relies on strong and sound evidence to support your claim. We evaluate your case 100 percent risk-free, without any financial investment to you; it doesn’t cost anything to secure our help! Whether the best course of action to get you the compensation you deserve is to negotiate and settle with insurance companies, or go “all the way” to a civil case, we use evidence to argue and pursue a judgement in your favor! From medical bills to witness statements, or goal is to return your life to is usual pace as fast as possible. Contact us at 888-800-2455 to get started today!