What information should I write down after a car accident?

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After a car accident, you will likely be dazed, confused, and upset. Depending on the severity of the collision, take a moment to catch your breath and calm your nerve. This will help you keep a level head so things can go as smoothly as possible.

Call the police:The first step after any serious car accident is to dial 911 and report the accident. Let the operator know whether anyone needs an ambulance or other emergency services.   

Gather information for anyone at the scene of the accident: You will need to gather information on all of the drivers involved. This information should include: full legal name, license number, address, phone number, insurance company, policy number, and contact information for the insurance company.

You should also get the name, address, and phone number of any passengers involved in the accident. If any witnesses stop to help after-the-fact, be sure to get their contact information as well. Sometimes people will not want to wait for the police to arrive to give a statement. By getting their contact information, they can be contacted later to give their version of the events.  

Take note of the events that occurred while your memory is fresh: Take note of your surroundings and what the conditions are. Is the roadway wet? What are the traffic conditions? How is the other driver reacting? What exactly happened? Take metal notes to write down and report to your insurance company.

Take Pictures: Photo records can play an important role in determining the cause of an accident. Safely take photos of the cars involved along with the area surrounding the accident site. Be sure to take photos of license plates and damaged areas.

Get a copy of the police report: Reach out to the police department that arrived at the scene of the accident. If you are unable to retrieve a police report, your car accident attorney can do this for you.

Seek medical assistance: If you feel any pain or soreness, you should be evaluated as soon as possible. This may mean you need to go to the emergency room. Let any medical providers you see know that you were in a car accident and what symptoms you are experiencing. Even if you feel okay, let your doctor know what happened in case your condition worsens later.    Follow your doctor’s advice and attend any physical therapy, referrals, or other medical prescriptions. Keep a list of all the providers you see during your treatment. This will make collecting records much easier. You should also keep any medical bills you receive and turn them over to your attorney.   

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