A car wreck can lead to painful and critical injuries. Which is why you probably want to and should receive medical attention right away. But before leaving the scene of the accident, there are steps you can take to help prove that the driver’s actions caused the accident.
New Jersey runs on a no-fault insurance system. So, if neither driver is more than 50% at fault, then each party can file for compensation to pay for both medical costs and property damage. However, if you are hoping to recover any amount of damages after a car accident, then it’s important to collect as much evidence as you can. Painting a picture of the scene could be helpful in both the insurance claim and legal process.
Here are three steps you can take immediately after the crash that may help strengthen your case:
1) Call the police
Per state law, when you are part of an accident that involves death, injury or at least $500 worth of property damage, then reporting it to the police is mandatory. Not only will you cover your bases when it comes to following the law, but you will also have written record of the accident for an insurance adjuster to consider.
2) Document the scene
In addition to a written record done by a police officer, if your cell phone is accessible, you should try and take as many photos at the scene as possible. This can include photos of the destruction done to your car, your injuries, and the road the accident took place on. If you can’t use your phone, trying writing down details of the scene or taking several mental notes until you are able or stable enough to record them.
3) Exchange information
Speaking with the other party involved is also essential. Doing a brief check-in before calling for 911 to gauge their injuries and let the operator know can be useful. Either way, it’s important to ask for the other driver’s name, phone number, insurance information and driver’s license and license plate number. This will allow you to follow up later.
When you have a police report, ample photos and a way to contact the other party, then filing an insurance claim or taking legal action will be a lot easier. Plus, if you choose the litigation route, then a dedicated personal injury attorney will have a solid foundation as they build your defense.