Most people have never been involved in a motor vehicle collision in their lives. However, when it happens, many people are in a state of shock and simply do not know what to do.
There are three absolutely crucial things that you must do immediately following the collision, that will assist you, your insurance carrier and your attorney:
- Do not admit fault – whether or not you believe that you contributed to the collision at all, do not say anything indicating such. Oftentimes the collisions happen so fast, it is not readily apparent who is to blame. However, if you make any statements that you were responsible, be aware that those words will certainly be used against you by the other person and their insurance carrier. Further, it will add difficulty to your own insurance carrier in defending you, as well as your lawyer. Just keep your comments to exchanging information and asking if everyone is okay.
- Take photos and video – it is absolutely imperative to document the scene of the collision, as well as any injuries to any of the involved parties. Make sure to take photos of all vehicles involved, any additional property damage noted, pictures of the drivers involved, any visible injuries, along with photos of their driver license and auto insurance cards. You may also want to take photos or videos of the stop signs, traffic signals, or nearby road signs, including the speed limit. It is also important to look around to see if there were any potential surveillance cameras at the intersections, or nearby business that might have captured the incident. This will ensure that the evidence supports what actually happened and will prevent the other parties involved claiming something different than what happened.
- Get witness information – look around for onlookers and ask what they heard or saw. This could be a key piece of evidence to help prove your case. If any such persons observed anything, ask them for their full name and cell phone number, in the event that your insurance company needs to contact them in the future. This is one of the biggest crucial mistakes that happens. A witness sees what happens, asks if everyone is okay, then simply drives off. Make sure to get their information, or you may never find them again.
We hope that you found this information helpful and we hope that it will assist someone in the future, following a motor vehicle collision. Our firm offers free consultations and we welcome you to contact our firm to discuss any personal injury cases that you might have.
You may contact us for a free consultation at:
Hicks Law Firm, 245 Fischer Ave., Ste. D-1, Costa Mesa, CA 92626