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Accidents occur for a plethora of reasons, but there is a common guide to follow post-accident. This article provides you an informative guide of need-to-know information to acquire post-accident. Consequently, this post-accident checklist will assist an attorney in protecting your rights, and provide for a speedy resolution to your case. As a note, this article is a follow-up to a previous article of ours found here, where we discussed things to consider when choosing an attorney to represent you. We recommend reading both of these articles for a comprehensive view of things to do post-accident.
First things first: your safety. If you are severely injured, seek help immediately. As helpful as this post-accident guide is, your safety will always dictate the situation; however, that does not mean you shouldn’t be concerned about getting the information mentioned below. Instead, have someone gather the information for you, be it a police officer, a family member, or a friend. The information gathered is extremely important, and this is even truer if you are seriously injured in an accident.
Starting with the basics, you will want to gather information similar to a police officer:
- Names of the Parties involved
- Addresses of Parties
- License plate numbers
- Insurance information like policy number and insurance company name
- Name and contact information of any potential witnesses
There is a reason why police officers gather this same information: it is extremely helpful and provides almost all the information you will need.
The old adage is true: a picture can tell a thousand words. That being said, do not hesitate to use your phone—or any picture taking device—to take photos of an accident scene. Don’t forget to take pictures of the surroundings at the scene of the accident, as well; there could possibly be minute details that perhaps contributed to the accident. The surroundings that contribute to the accident could be anywhere; therefore, take pictures that capture 360 degrees of the scene, and even a block before the scene of the accident if at all possible.
Tell an Accurate Story
When explaining what occurred to first responders, tell the facts. Facts will help first responders, like police officers, write an accurate, factually based police report. In so doing, a police report will likely be neutral, providing a clear set of facts for an attorney. Conversely, when people name who was potentially at fault, police officers try to sift through that information, make a determination for themselves, and can sometimes include that in their police report. A police report has the potential to adversely affect your case.
If you were injured in an accident, such that you had to go to the hospital, visit doctors, or receive physical therapy is information that is vital to your case. Here is a brief outline of those factors and information to gather:
- Name of Hospital(s)
- Name of Doctors, Physical Therapist, or Chiropractor
- Dates you received medical services
- Any bills pertaining to your medical services
In summary, this need-to-know guide will help provide all the information you should gather post-accident to ensure a speedy recovery and protect your rights. A checklist of all the information above can be found here. Even without all these documents, it is best to have an experienced personal injury attorney at the Law Offices of Michael Cordova review your case with our Free Case Evaluation.
The Law Offices of Michael Cordova can help you, or a loved one, with a personal injury claim. The experienced personal injury attorneys at the Law Offices of Michael Cordova handles a variety of injury and accident cases. To learn more about the cases we handle, visit our main site here.
By: Jonathan J. Cianfaglione, Law Clerk