In this article, you will learn:
- The information to gather and give at the scene of the accident
- What to do if you are too injured to gather information at the scene
What you’re doing by speaking to the other person is building up your case on the civil side. So, what you’re going to seek from them is an admission of guilt, an apology somewhere, or anything like that. Now, you’re going to probably not have that statement be recorded somehow, but you’re going to hopefully take notes yourself that they said whatever they said because in an interrogatory, if it does get filed in court, one of the questions will be if the other party made a statement to you. So, make a mental note, and then ideally write it down in your phone or on paper what they said so that way, you can, as close as possible, get the exact wording even if it’s not recorded on audio, or they won’t write it down for you.
You should never admit liability. Don’t say, “It’s my fault too, I didn’t see you either”, or anything like that. You’re only there to seek their statements, not to give your own. As tough as it might be, don’t apologize. Just you’re the questioner, they’re the respondents, see what they have to say.
The Information Safe To Share
On your end, share your name, address, and insurance information. There’s not a problem with that. Maybe not your phone number, but I don’t really have my clients get asked for their information typically. That’s because, typically, my clients are the ones not at fault. Still, if they do contact you, I don’t know if I would respond to it because it’s not going to help you. It can only help them, so I wouldn’t respond to them. Instead, forward that communication to me or let me know that they called, but I wouldn’t discuss with them since it can only hurt you.
Information And Evidence On The Scene Of The Accident That Is Important For The Injured Party To Record And Preserve
You want to document the scene, take a lot of pictures, especially of their car ,because sometimes your car isn’t that damaged but, theirs is. We still want to know that because the trier of fact, either the judge or the jury, would probably want to know what both cars look like, and sometimes one car has a little damage, but the driver of that car, my client, has a lot of damage, which is what would be called injuries. If the jury only sees your car without that much damage but you have a lot of injuries, they might think, “Well, how’s that possible?” But if they see the other car that hit you, and they see, “Oh look at that, there’s a lot of damage to that car”, the whole thing makes more sense that you have so many injuries, because it really was a bad accident, but one car alone doesn’t show that.
Picture the scene too. Take pictures of how far across the intersection you were pushed. If you got hit at a red light, just give some depth perception. If it was raining out, or if there was black ice, try to take pictures to let somebody feel like they’re there on the scene with you at that time in that moment. These days, everybody has cellphones; you can take ten pictures and it won’t cost you a penny. If you were injured too severely, it depends on if you have anybody else show up. Sometimes clients have people show up, sometimes they don’t. I was talking to somebody yesterday that was injured too severely to take any pictures or make any statements, which is unfortunate. I get that. I think the best you can do is if you’re there alone, go in the ambulance, and then when you’re able to, contact somebody on your behalf or go back yourself to the scene and document the area the best they can as quickly as possible.
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