Hi everyone! Dustin here from lawatyourside.com where we provide real legal help when you really need it.
If you are in a car accident, there’s a couple of very important things you want to collect at the scene right away.
One is pictures of the scene. So you want to go around. You want to make sure you take pictures. Try to get the license plate of the other driver when you’re taking your pictures, the damage on your car, the damage on the other car, the area of the scene, get a wide-angled shot, so to maybe take a video, just try to get the scene, kind of what happened because you’re going to need to prove liability and you’re going to need to prove damages. So you want to be sure to take pictures of the scene and of the cars.
Also, you want to get the driver’s license and the insurance information from the other driver. So just take a picture of their driver’s license, take a picture of their insurance information, both the front and back of the car if it’s a two-sided car. Make sure you get that information as well.
The third thing you want to get is a police report. So if the police come to the scene, they’re going to have what’s called little incident report number. They won’t issue the report right then and there, but they’ll have an incident report number. So get that incident report number. Make sure you know which police are coming to the scene. Is it the highway patrol? Is it the LAPD? Which police department is there? Get the report number, find out which one it is, and even get the officer’s badge number and name so you have that information as well. So you can later go ahead and track down the report.
The fourth thing is to find any witnesses. If there’s witnesses around, that they saw, “Yeah, I saw the accident” or “I saw what happened.” Make sure you get their name, make sure you get their phone number so you can later contact them, get a statement from them to help prove liability in your case because a lot of times it’s a he-said-she-said thing, but if you have witnesses who are willing to help you and corroborate your story as to what happened, that can be very, very helpful in your case as well.
Fifth thing is try to see if there are any areas around that may have surveillance video. Was somebody filming it? Was witnesses nearby or did the incident happen in front of a store where there’s maybe a security camera out front? Was a bus nearby, driving by? A lot of times buses are equipped with cameras. They may have captured the incident. So you want to kind of pay attention to your surroundings and try to at least find that information. You obviously don’t need to get the video right then and there, but you want to try to get the license plate on that bus or take a picture of the store and go talk to the store owner and what not to see if they have video.
Now, I understand all this may be difficult to get at the scene of the accident. You’re in shock. You can’t believe what happened. You may be very injured, and obviously, this would be the least of your worries at the time because you want to get treatment, get healthy, and get better. You may be going to the hospital and what not, but these are things to keep in mind as much as you can if it’s you or if it’s someone else in your car or someone else nearby that can gather this information and send it to you. That can really help you in the long run in your personal injury case.
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