What Information do I need after a Car Accident?

You have just been involved in a car accident. The other driver rear-ended you because he or she was not paying attention and was texting, only looking up at the last minute before plowing into the back of your car.  You now are feeling tremendous pain in your neck and back.  Given the fact you can barely move your neck, as well as the substantial damage to your car, the last thing on your mind is what information or documents you need to get from the other driver or police officer who may respond to the scene.  However, this is extremely important to ensure that you are able to file an insurance claim or personal injury lawsuit against the responsible party later on.  Therefore, keep in mind that your ability to recover damages starts the moment an accident caused by someone else’s negligence occurs, so it is important to be mindful of doing everything you can to maximize the value of your case from the very beginning.  This includes leaving the accident scene with the right information and documents to help your personal injury attorney make the best case he or she can for you.

 Leaving the Car Accident Scene with the Right Documents and Information

Many people understand what to do in the event that they are involved in a car accident in terms of staying at the scene of the accident, exchanging information with the other driver, making sure they call the police and then waiting for the police to respond to the scene  However, not as well-publicized or well-understood is what a motorist who has just been involved in a car accident must make sure that he or she does not leave the scene of the accident without in terms of both information and documents.  There is certain vital information that, if you are involved in an accident, you absolutely should not leave the scene without.  This applies whether you leave in a friend’s or family member’s car because your car has been towed to the garage or whether you are able to drive your own car home.  The first thing to make sure you have is the other driver’s contact and insurance information.   A simple way to ensure you have this information is to take a picture of (i) his or her driver’s license and (ii) his or her insurance card with your phone.  You also need to make sure to get the contact information (name, address and phone number) of any witnesses to the accident so you can put them in touch with your lawyer later on.  Again, recording this information on your phone is a handy way to do this.

Get the Police Report But Don’t Rely Solely on That

The most important thing you need to leave a car accident scene with is the police report itself.  However, don’t automatically assume that just because a police officer responds to the scene, that he or she will necessarily write down and provide you with all the information that you need in the police report itself.  Sometimes police officers who respond to the scene of an accident are rushed. Their shift may just be ending and/or their thoughts are elsewhere or else they may just rush through the process of filling out an accident report and may forget to include pertinent details or even give you a copy of the report itself.  Even though the police report is not admissible in evidence in a civil lawsuit involving a motor vehicle accident, it nevertheless can be an important tool when it comes to settlement negotiations with the insurer for the negligent driver because it contains the impressions of an experienced police officer about what happened and whose fault it was.  Therefore, having a copy of that document is essential, so you need to make sure you leave the scene of an accident with that document.  However, as discussed above, don’t assume everything you need will be in there, but instead make sure you independently secure all the information you can and that you don’t simply rely on the police officer to do that.

Seek the Assistance of An Experienced Florida Personal Injury Attorney

If you have been injured in a Florida car accident or any type of Florida personal injury scenario, you should retain an experienced Florida personal injury attorney as soon as possible after the incident in which you were injured to assist you in receiving maximum compensation for your injuries suffered as a result of someone else’s negligence.  At Schwed, Adams & McGinley, P.A. our experienced personal injury attorneys have more than 150 years of combined legal practice representing victims of all types of motor vehicle accidents and other incidents involving personal injuries in Florida.  If you, a family member or a loved one has been injured in a Florida car accident, contact the experienced personal injury attorneys at Schwed, Adams & McGinley, P.A today at 877-694-6079  or contact@schwedlawfirm.com for a free consultation.