With millions of Florida residents sharing the roads, even the most careful driver may find themselves in an accident. From distracted motorists or unexpected road hazards to reckless or impaired individuals, too much can go wrong, and a mistake that takes a millisecond to make may lead to a lifetime of consequences.
When a vehicle collision occurs, the safety of everyone involved should take priority. However, it is always a good idea for motorists to be ready to document a potential incident. Doing so may be crucial if a driver needs to file a personal injury insurance claim or becomes involved in a lawsuit.
- Be ready to collect essential information
If possible, the most basic details to gather after a collision includes the contact and insurance numbers of the other drivers involved in the incident. In addition to names, addresses and mobile contact information, motorists should try to collect the following information:
- Driver’s license and plate numbers
- Insurance policy details
- Vehicle descriptions, including color, make, year, model and VIN
- Be ready to document visual evidence
Photographic and video evidence taken just after an auto accident may prove invaluable in case of either serious injury or a potential claim of negligence. When conditions are safe, those involved in a traffic incident should be sure to document both injuries and vehicle damage as well as potentially significant details about the scene of the collision itself. This may include skid marks, crash debris, vehicle positions or traffic signal locations.
- Be ready to present witness and personal testimony
If witnesses to the collision are present, it is generally a good idea to ask these individuals for contact information; they may be able to provide valuable third-party testimony later.
As soon as possible after the incident, an individual involved in a motor vehicle accident should write out a complete description of the event in his or her own words. Doing so may help to preserve a specific, detailed account that may be instrumental when filing for insurance benefits or bringing a suit against a negligent driver.