Automobile Accident/Motorcycle/Pedestrian Accident
After the insurance and driver's license information has
been exchanged, most laypeople have the misunderstanding that evidence
gathering and preservation has concluded. This, however, is not the case. Here
are some tips that you can use to ensure that you have maximized your potential
for recovery through evidence preservation.
License Plate Information
- Following an accident, the single most important thing you can do to
protect yourself is to copy down the license plate number of the other
- Sometimes the person driving the car does not own the car. You may
think that you have protected yourself by obtaining the driver's license
information of the other driver, but this is often not sufficient. By
writing down both the driver's information and the license plate of the
vehicle, you have worked to more thoroughly protect yourself and ensure
that you have obtained all the information that you might need in the
event of litigation.
- If a police officer has come to the accident scene, be sure to ask if
a report of the accident will be prepared and where and when it will be
available. If the officer does not intend to prepare a report, be sure to
request the officer's name and badge number for later contact.
- Take pictures of your vehicle as soon as possible. Take pictures from
all angles, not just the damaged portions.
- If possible, take pictures of the other vehicle(s) involved in the
- Take pictures of the surrounding area to preserve the way it looked at
the time of accident.
- Take pictures of the surrounding location and roadway for any physical
damage, skid marks, or debris.
- If you or someone in your vehicle sustained a visible injury: i.e,
bruise, cut, scrape, or stitches, take photograph(s) of the injury to
preserve the state of the injury at the time of the injury.
- Feel free to take as many photographs of what you think may, no matter
how trivial, be important to the accident. Your attorney will decide what
is and what is not important.
- If you were a pedestrian, take photos of the crosswalk or the location
where you crossed at street or where you were standing, walking, jogging,
at the time of your accident.
Statements of Witness(es)
- Take the name, address and telephone number of any potential witness
and save this information someplace where it will not be lost.
- Return to the accident scene, visit any nearby homes or business for
any potential witness(es) to the accident.
- Revisit the scene of the accident several times at the same time at
which the accident took place. Some people may have a habit of visiting,
stopping, driving, etc, by the location of the accident as part of their
normal daily routine. You may able to find a witness.
- If you have obtained witness information, do not contact or speak to
the witness(es) again. Do not try to solicit a written statement and/or
drawing from the witness. Let your attorney contact any possible
- After taking photographs of your damaged vehicle, take the vehicle for
a repair estimate as soon as possible. You are not obligated to use a
repair facility recommended by an insurance company to have repairs done,
but it generally won't hurt to get estimates from recommended garages.
- Obtain written and dated repair estimates from a minimum of two repair
facilities, at least one of which you selected without insurance company