The most important moment of any motor vehicle accident may not in fact be the instant that one vehicle impacts the other, or a vehicle impacts a pedestrian or cyclist, or even the moment just after the accident when the shock of what has just occurred sets properly in. Rather, it might just be those moments in which the two (or more) involved drivers exchange information after the crash and the process of clearing up the financial, mechanical and physical mess of the accident begins outright.
In order for this information exchange process to go as smoothly as possible, you will want to be prepared before the accident occurs. Since no motorist can predict when the unexpected is going to happen, this means being prepared all the time and never being caught without those essential tools that will aid you in your cause if disaster strikes. You will want to make sure you are never traveling in a motor vehicle without a pen or pencil, a notebook or paper, and a disposable camera or camera phone, at the very least. These props will arm you with the ability to capture evidence through writing and photography. If you carry these few items with you always, you will be well prepared to face whatever liability the car insurance adjuster has to throw at you. In addition, you will be better able to effect a positive outcome, both financially and emotionally, when it comes to settling the matter in a timely and stress free manner.
The Information Makes the Case
The most important details that you will want to gather directly after being involved in an accident, provided you are physically and mentally capable of doing so, are those that will help you record the exact circumstances of the event and the contact information of any other involved drivers. Make sure to write down the driver’s full name and address, phone number or email address, and insurance company and policy number. If they were driving on their way to or from their place of employment, you may want to get the contact details of their employer, as well, who may hold some responsibility if that is how the case turns out.
The information regarding the motor vehicles is also very important. Take note of the make, model, colour and other distinguishing features of any cars involved in the accident. Finally, make careful notes regarding the circumstances and peculiarities of the accident. Was there fog in the road? Was the other vehicle using their head lights? Did your car or the other motor have a turn signal on? Was the road damp or slippery? Make a note of the exact time and lighting in which the incident occurred, also.
Keep Your Hands Busy and Do Not Admit Fault
You may want to make a quick sketch of the intersection involved in the accident or what the cars looked like at the time of collision. Additionally, take note of the police who came to the scene of the accident, including their names and/or collar numbers, and any statements that they made regarding what happened. An added benefit of taking so many notes and details down is that you will be less tempted to make obligatory blanket statements that may later be used to press liability onto you, such as statements of apology or otherwise admitting guilt in the accident. Keep your hands as busy as possible writing down notes and snapping pictures of any damage that has been incurred to a vehicle or person, and you will have a solid and well documented case to present to your insurance adjuster when the time comes.