At the Scene of the Accident
It is important to gather as much information at the scene of the accident as possible. Key facts include:
- The plate numbers of all other vehicles involved in the accident.
- The identity of the drivers and owners of those vehicles (ask for their drivers’ licence and vehicle registration).
- The time and location of the accident.
- The name and contact information of any witnesses. It is usually wise to get two pieces of contact information (e.g. phone number and email), in case one is incorrect.
- The name of any attending police officers and the file number if one has been assigned.
While this is a lot of information, smartphones can help: take pictures of the vehicles, the drivers (if they’ll let you), the identifying documents, and the view of the intersection that you and the other driver had just before the accident (if it is safe to do so). It can also help to draw a diagram while the accident is fresh in your mind.
After the Accident
After leaving the scene, you may want to keep a diary of your symptoms and how they affect your daily life. If you miss work, keep track of the dates and times that you were unable to attend work. If you go to the hospital or a walk-in clinic, you should record the name and location, and the dates you attended.
You should definitely keep receipts for any expense incurred as a result of the accident: this includes medications (including over the counter), medical treatment and orthotics.