Why You Should Document Your Automobile Accident
With the explosive growth that Tampa and the surrounding areas have seen over the last decade, a tremendous strain has been put upon our police force and investigating officers. There are many accidents where officers are called but don’t show up for some time after the crash.
Recently we have seen personal injury victims who waited for so long for the officers to arrive that they chose to leave to tend to their families.
Most people who were injured in an automobile accident aren’t in a position to fully document their accident because they are dealing with their injuries.
Other times, folks who have been in an accident don’t understand how badly they are injured until one day or two days or even later. Many feel that they will be okay after the accident only to learn that it gets worse as time goes on.
Additionally, there is always the situation where the person who caused the accident is sorry at the scene only to change their story once they talk to their insurance company and now they blame you.
If you are in a car accident in the Tampa area you should do everything you can to document your accident while you are able to do so.
Some things that you can do at the scene:
* Call the police or dial 911 to report the accident.
* If you have been injured report your status to the police and first responders.
* If you can safely take photographs or video of the vehicles and the crash scene please do.
* Snap a picture of the driver’s license and insurance information of the other driver.
* Take photos of the resting positions of the vehicles and the property damage on both vehicles. – Also get a photograph of the license plate of the other vehicle.
* Make sure you record the officers name and information and
* Make sure you document witnesses to the crash with name and phone number – if possible video a very short statement from the witness about what happened.
As set forth above, it is not uncommon for people who caused a wreck to change their tune and blame someone else for causing the accident. There are those who are “sorry” at the scene for the mistakes they made, only to turn around and make a claim for personal injuries against the person who was not at fault in the accident- you.
Documenting the scene is not always possible, but when it is you should do so even if you are uninjured because who pays for your property damage may turn on your photographs or other documentation.
If someone in your family has been injured, make sure you get a police investigation of the accident and don’t settle for an “exchange of information” between the parties.
A formal crash report by the officer will serve to document, by an impartial party what really occurred at the crash site.
What you collect at the scene can avoid denial of a claim by the adverse insurance company.