After a motor vehicle collision, drivers and passengers likely feel a combination of emotions. From frustration and anger to confusion and stress, vehicle occupants struggle to compartmentalize their feelings while handling the event in a professional manner. Insurance companies and safety experts agree that the best advice to follow in these situations is to document everything possible.
Soon after a vehicle collision, drivers must contact not only the police to file an accident report but their insurance carrier to initiate a claim. The more documentation is in hand, the easier these reports will become. For example, days later, the insurance carrier might contact the policyholder to clarify the road conditions at the time of the collision. These details might seem insignificant at first, so the accident victim might make no decision to actively remember them. In this situation, like many others, documentation is key. Factors to remember can include:
- Document any injuries
- Document any vehicle damage
- Document the other driver’s information
- Document the contact information of any witnesses
- Document the weather, the road conditions and traffic density
It is wise to take photos either with a disposable camera stored in the glove box or on a smartphone. This way, photos can enhance or replace any type of description in either the insurance claim or the police report.
Additionally, carrying a notepad can help to record notes and thoughts even after the collision. Leaving these factors to mere memory can lead to problems. Often, the mind begins to lose details and overwrite factors leaving the memory blurred and tainted. Having either a photographic record or notes made immediately after the collision can prevent this loss of focus. Even if it makes you feel uncomfortable, it is crucial that you document as much as possible immediately after a motor vehicle collision.