What type of information should I collect/document at the scene of the accident?

On the scene of the accident, collect information. Write down the name, address, driver’s license number (and state), license plate number (and state) and insurance information for the other driver(s). Also, be sure to collect the names, addresses and telephone numbers of any and all witnesses to the accident.

In addition to taking down information for the involved driver(s) and any witnesses, take down notes about the scene and location of the accident. Document the cross streets, the posted speed limit, the weather during the accident, any street lighting (or lack thereof), traffic lights or stop signs (or lack thereof), etc. All of this can prove helpful in establishing whether negligence was involved in the accident.

Make sure to request, from the police officer investigating the scene of the accident, a copy of the officer’s business card along with the “incident number,” so you or your attorney can obtain a copy of the police report.

Finally, jot down notes about how the accident took place, including the direction in which the vehicles were travelling, what the cars were doing at the time of the collision, etc. Photographing the vehicles involved in the crash, and documenting the damage, is always a good idea.

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