What Information Should I Collect After My Car Accident?

Posted By Herbert Maxey
What Information Should I Collect After My Car Accident?

Virginia drivers have certain responsibilities after being involved in a car crash. For instance, state law requires that all drivers remain at the scene of an accident in which they were involved. Furthermore, individuals who find themselves in this situation are legally required to exchange certain information with the other parties involved. While it may not seem important at the time, taking this step is one of the best ways that a person can protect his or her rights to compensation. To learn more about the types of information that will give you the best chance of filing a successful claim, please reach out to an experienced Lake Monticello auto accident lawyer today. 


When to Report a Car Crash

Virginia law requires that drivers file an official report of any car accidents in which they are involved any time that a crash results in:

  • A physical injury or death; or
  • Vehicular damage. 

Generally, motorists have 24 hours from the time of their accident to file these reports, unless physical injuries prevent a person from doing so, in which case, he or she must file a report as soon as possible. The timelines for reporting an accident to an insurer, however, will depend on each company’s specific policy, which is why those who have been involved in car accidents are strongly encouraged to check their policies for limitations in advance. 


Names and Contact Information 

If a car accident isn’t too serious and the parties have addressed any injuries by calling an ambulance or arranging a ride to the nearest hospital, they should be sure to start the process of collecting certain information, including:

  • The parties’ full names;
  • The phone number where the other driver can be contacted;
  • The contact information of the insurance company; and
  • The contact information of the insured. 

Although this information can often be obtained from a police report at a later date, most are encouraged to at least get details about the other party’s contact information from that person directly, as this ensures that they can begin the process of filing a claim as soon as possible. This is true not only for the parties involved in the accident (including passengers), but also anyone who saw the accident occur, as the testimony of these individuals could prove crucial in demonstrating fault at a later date. The use of this type of evidence is especially helpful in situations where there are no video recordings of the accident. 


Insurance Information 

Most car accident claims go through an insurer at some point, making it especially important for motorists to collect the information on the other party’s proof of insurance card, including the name of the insurance company, the insurer’s name, the company’s phone number, and the other driver’s policy number. All of this information will be necessary when attempting to recover compensation for accident-related losses. 


Vehicle-Related Details

Besides contact information, car accident victims should also be sure to collect information about the other vehicle, including a description of the car, its license plate number, and the vehicle’s year, make, model, and VIN. Taking photographs of the vehicles after the collision can also help provide important details about the vehicles, including the points of impact and the direction that the vehicles were facing after the crash. This information can then be used not only to establish fault, but also to calculate the extent of the damage sustained by the vehicles. 


Notes About the Accident 

Finally, those who are involved in car accidents should also consider making a list of information about the collision, such as:

  • The date and time of the accident;
  • The location of the accident, including the nearest cross street;
  • The directions in which the parties were traveling prior to the crash; and
  • Notes about the driving conditions at the time of the accident, as well as details about relevant weather conditions.

No one expects a car accident victim to immediately start taking notes after a collision. Recording this information is, however, important and should be a priority after ensuring the safety of the parties involved and obtaining medical treatment for any injuries. 


Were You Injured in a Car Accident?

Many of those who are involved in car accidents are initially unsure of their next steps. This is where an attorney can make the most difference in helping a victim recover compensation, so if you were involved in a collision, collected information about the other parties and their insurers, and need help filing a claim, please call experienced Lake Monticello auto accident attorney Herbert E. Maxey, Jr. to learn more about your legal options going forward. You can set up an initial meeting by calling our office at 434-969-4873 or by sending us an online message. A member of our legal team is standing by and eager to begin working with you on your case. 

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About the Author:

Herbert Maxey

Attorney Herbert E. Maxey, Jr., serves clients throughout Virginia who have been injured by the negligence of others or who have lost a family member as the result of such negligence. The negligence may have been caused by the actions of operators of motor vehicles or, in medical malpractice cases, by the actions or inaction of healthcare professionals. For more details call Herbert Maxey, a Buckingham, VA accident attorney at 434-969-4873.... View full business profile here: Herbert Maxey