In the proceeding article we discussed what to do after a car accident in the first 90 seconds and then within the next five minutes. These suggestions may protect you and others from further harm.
The Succeeding Hours
Gather as much information as you can. After you’ve recovered from the initial shock and the emergency situation has simmered down, you need to try and gather as much information as you possibly can. An accident, no matter how big or small can do without information. Here’s what you may need:
- On the people involved – Take down the full names of the victims and the other drivers and other person who may be involved. Write it down on paper or take notes from your phone. Take their contact information, home numbers and email addresses and other means to get in touch with them. If you can, write down their driver’s license numbers or insurance information. Make notes of their personal circumstances. If one of them looks very tired, intoxicated or drunk, write that down. If they have made admissions, jot that down too. Take down the names of the investigating officers or the responding emergency medical teams. These people may be invaluable to your case later on.
- On the cars involved – take photos of your vehicle and those of the others involved with your phone. Note not only the damage but the car’s make, color and model. If it is a tractor trailer or a commercial delivery van, take down the company names or identifying marks. Get their license plates and check other factors which may help your case. Watch out for worn-out tires, broken lights or any substandard safety features or structural weaknesses.
- On potential witnesses – Talk to the people who have seen the accident and get the contact details of potential witnesses to your case. If you have seen someone with a video camera, talk to that person as well. Witnesses often show great reluctance to talk to police officers while others simply refuse to be questioned and for these reasons, whatever information that may be gleaned from them is likely to be lost if it isn’t collect from the scene itself.
- Document your injuries – Insurance claims can also stand and fall on the strength of the medical records. Document your injuries or the injuries that your passengers may have suffered. Don’t forget to include the medical report of the paramedics and supplement these with pictures from the scene.
- Other valuable pieces of information – Remember that you are doing this not only to make an accurate representation of your insurance claim but also to help convince those who are absent from the car crash of the full import of the accident. Stand in the shoes of your lawyer, your insurance company or even a member of the jury – think about them when you gather your information and what they might possibly need to make intelligent decisions.
Potential Medical Issues. Be certain that you receive sufficient medical support. If you have received treatment at the scene of the accident; or even if you’ve been taken to a medical facility, then ask your doctors for the right course for follow-up care.
If some pain or condition arises in the next days or weeks preceding the accident, write it down and then tell your doctors about it. It’s critical that you make sure all your medical problems are addressed at the soonest possible time.
Keep all your records and make back-ups or duplicates if necessary. Take down their names, the dates of your appointment and their contact information. Make your own notes of their diagnosis, their prescriptions and their recommendations. These may be invaluable later on in your road to recovery.
Contact the St. Louis Personal Injury Lawyers
If you or someone you love has been involved in a car accident contact the Law Office of James M. Hoffmann. Our legal team has a strong history of helping car accident victims get the compensation they need. Based in St. Louis our law firm will ensure that your rights are protected. Please call (314) 361-4300 or toll free at (888) 872-6795. You can also complete our Online Case Evaluation Form.
photo credit: The Infamous Gdub