Gathering Evidence for a Car Accident Claim
When you find yourself in a car accident, it can feel scary regardless of how bad the damage is. At some stage, you may want to make a claim to recover costs for damage to your vehicle, your property and yourself. Successfully completing a car accident claim usually means meeting certain standards of evidence. Here is what you may need to look for.
Other Driver's Details
The key starting point for any claim is to have the other driver's details. If they're refusing to hand them over, make a note of their reluctance as this will make it easier for your insurance company to track them. You may also want to make a quick note on your phone as to how the collision happened. For example, were they trying to change lanes? Were you overtaking? Was someone trying to beat a traffic light before it turned red? If you can get witnesses, then do so. While details about the other driver's behaviour may seem small at first, they can determine whose fault the accident was.
Photos of Damage
Take photos of the damage to your car and theirs. While doing so, make sure that the timestamp feature on your phone is turned on. Having the timestamp turned on means that the other driver is less likely to be successful in challenging the legitimacy of your images. Additionally, if they later try to damage their car further to boost the value of your claim, you can use your timestamp to prove that further damage was unlikely to be related to the accident you were involved in. Unfortunately, not all drivers will be cooperative when you ask them about taking photos. If this is the case, make a mental note of the damage caused to their car and write it down when you get back into yours.
What was happening at the time of the crash? If there was bad weather that reduced your visibility, your insurance company needs to know. It will also need to know if you were dealing with a diversion, a sign was obscure or obstructed or if there were any other unusual conditions happening that day. If possible, get photos of the environment that could have influenced the outcome of the crash. For example, if a sign was obstructed by a tree, take a photo to demonstrate this just in case the tree is later cut back to make the sign visible.
Finally, you'll need to evidence the value of your property and any medical outcomes following the crash. Overall, the more detail your evidence goes into, the better.