After a motor vehicle collision, it is crucial that those involved record as much information as possible about the event. From witnesses and damage to road conditions and injuries, it is important to have a written or photographic record of as many details as possible.
With a reliable record in place, it can remove the guesswork from future questions or paperwork. It is not uncommon for law enforcement or the insurance carrier to request clarification or additional information in the days or weeks following a vehicle crash. The memory of these traumatic events can quickly blur, losing focus on certain details and embellishing others. With immediate, first-hand documentation, it can help clarify matters. Vehicle occupants should:
- Take photos of damage to all vehicles involved
- Document injuries
- Note insurance and license information of other drivers
- List witnesses
- Record weather conditions, traffic patterns and road debris
Drivers can often accomplish this with little more than their cell phone. It is not uncommon, however, to keep a disposable camera and notepad in the vehicle’s glove box in case the cell phone is damaged in the wreck.
In addition to a photographic record of the scene of the collision, individuals can also document the aftereffects of the crash. For example:
- Medical bills
- Treatment costs
- Time off work
- Repair costs
- Vehicle rental costs
- Other ancillary expenses
Additionally, it might take several days and numerous diagnostic tests for medical professionals to reach an accurate prognosis and treatment plan. The victim must carefully detail all this information as it could become relevant should a personal injury case become necessary.