If I’m in a Car Accident, What Facts Should I Gather From the Other Driver

If you are involved in a car accident, there is quite a bit of information you should gather beyond the names and phone numbers of other drivers involved.

This Low Cost Legal guide will help you know what information will be helpful to you in the event that you decide to pursue a personal injury lawsuit by calling an accident attorney or have to defend yourself against a lawsuit.

Getting Information from the Other Driver

You want to get all relevant personal information from the other driver when you are involved in an automobile accident. The police on the scene will gather information also, but do not rely on a police report to give you the information that will suit your purposes.

Of course, the other driver might not cooperate with you, preferring to only give the information the police requires. If you believe you are the cause of the accident, then that is the best strategy. Aside from giving your name, which will be a part of the police report, choose to keep other information to yourself.

Here is the information that might prove relevant to you. Ask for the driver’s name, address, phone number, license plate number and the name of their insurance company. Get their insurance policy number too, if possible. In addition, ask them where they were coming from and where they were going.

You might ask them if they have been drinking, using drugs or taking prescription drugs. If you feel that the driver is impaired in any way, point that out to the police when they arrive and ask them to investigate or at least include your concern in their report.

In addition to such personal information, ask to have the name and contact information of any passengers riding in the car. These people could be important witnesses for you if needed.

Other Information to Obtain or Note

Make notes about the direction each car in the accident was travelling. Note the speed you believe you were going. Record the time of day, weather conditions and road conditions. If you believe the other driver was disobeying road rules or driving in an unsafe manner, note that along with your reasons. This might include driving with their lights off after dark, having a headlight out, not having break lights, swerving or driving too fast.

If anyone else stops, someone not involved in the accident but who saw it happen, ask for their name and contact information. If you believe the other driver is impaired, ask anyone who might also notice that for their contact information.

If any other driver accepts responsibility for the accident, definitely make note of this. They might say things like, “Sorry, I didn’t see you coming before I pulled out,” or “I looked down to see who was calling or to change the radio,” or “I was in a hurry to get to work.”

Note the damage done to each vehicle too. Make note of any injuries you have. See a doctor for them and make sure the information becomes part of your medical records.

When to See an Attorney About a Car Accident

If you believe that the other driver was negligent and caused the accident, you might be able to receive compensation for damage to your car, medical expenses, wages lost while not being able to work during recovery and more. Talk to a personal injury attorney and share with them all the information you have gathered as well as the police report. If money is tight for you, you can find low cost legal help too. Most personal injury attorneys take cases on a contingency basis. This means that you don’t pay them unless you receive a settlement or judgment. Your next step might be to contact several personal injury lawyers to discuss your case and to see which ones offer low cost legal support.