What should I document in the aftermath of a car crash?

Motor vehicle accidents happen in the blink of an eye. In a matter of seconds, you can go from driving to work to standing on the side of the road next to crashed vehicles wondering what just happened.

In this situation, it is natural for everyone involved in an accident to be quite shaken up. It can be very difficult to be logical and pragmatic after a crash when you are in pain, confused, scared and staring at a damaged vehicle that could cost thousands to fix. However, you can do yourself and your family a big favor by trying to gather as much information as you can about the accident.

If you are in a crash, according to this article on cars.com, you should take the time to write down the following information:

  • The names and contact information for others involved in the accident
  • The names and contact information for any witnesses who saw the crash
  • Details about the other vehicles involved
  • Insurance information for all drivers involved
  • A brief description of what you remember happening

Thankfully, most people carry their cellphones with them, and they can be a crucial tool in the aftermath of a crash. If, for instance, you don’t have a pen and paper, you can jot down notes about the accident in your phone and even record yourself and witness recounting the details of the accident. Your cellphone camera can also be important. After an accident, you may want to take pictures of:

  • The damage to your car
  • The damage to the other vehicles
  • Any road signs or signals that may be relevant (like a “No turn on red light” sign)
  • License plates on all vehicles
  • Other people involved in the accident
  • The area around the accident scene

Having this information can be crucial when you file a claim with your insurance company. It can also be crucial when and if you decide to take legal action against another party as the information you have could be proof that another driver was negligent or reckless.