What to do after a car accident | protecting your rights
Other than tending to emergencies, what are the three things you should do after a car crash?
This video is about the 1st of 3 things you should do after a car crash to protect your rights.
So, how do you protect yourself?
We’ve all been there. You’re in a minor fender bender. The at fault driver asks you NOT to call the police. He offers to pay for your damages out of his own pocket. Or, maybe he’s a truck driver, and he says that if you call the police, he’s going to lose his license, because he’s already been in a couple of other accidents. You don’t want to hurt the guy personally. So, you get his phone number, and you both leave the scene of the accident.
How do you protect yourself from him later claiming that you were at fault?
The answers are right in your back pocket. It’s your cell phone. You can basically use your cell phone to replace the police officer.
Now, I’m not advocating that you NOT call the police. On the contrary, I think you SHOULD call the police.
But, if you find yourself in that situation, and YOU decide NOT to call the police, use your cell phone to document and preserve evidence.
# So, what do you want document? Well, it’s basically three things. You want to (1) document the scene, you want to (2) document liability, and you want to (3) document the existence of Insurance.
Let’s look at the 1st of those 3 things.
How do you document the scene? The final resting place of vehicles AFTER a crash is often a significant piece of evidence in being able to determine what happened BEFORE the crash. Skid marks. The relative position of the vehicles. Where they end up in the intersection. All these things can be important. You should document that with pictures.
# So, rule number one is, take pictures of the scene before you move the vehicles. You’re on a busy road. You don’t want to block traffic while waiting for the police. So, you agree with the other driver to move the vehicles to a private parking lot. That’s fine. That may be the reasonable thing to do.
But take pictures first. It doesn’t take long. You’ve already gotten out of your car to check on the other driver. Just whip out your phone, and take a few pictures before you move the cars. Maybe even make a video of the scene.
It’s important to get pictures with landmarks in the background, so someone can go back later and figure out where the cars were, based on the landmarks in your picture. This is easy to do with video.
# It’s also important to take pictures that include the license plates of the vehicles. That way, you can absolutely identify the vehicles involved in the crash.
You should also take pictures of any skidmarks, and any debris in the road. When vehicles crash, parts are broken off. There will be bits of broken glass and plastic. Those bits of debris usually mark the spot that police call, the point of impact. It’s the spot on the road above which the vehicles made contact. The vehicles usually continue to move after impact. So, the final resting place of the vehicles can be somewhat deceptive if you don’t know the point of impact.
So, before you move your car, look for that debris on the road. Look for the spot that has the most debris and get a picture of it. Make sure the picture or video includes landmarks in the background so that you can go back weeks later and locate that spot, even after the debris is been cleaned up.
What if you don’t feel safe exiting the vehicle? That still doesn’t mean you can’t take pictures. You don’t necessarily have to get out. You can take pictures from inside your car. In fact, you could make a 360 video looking all around, and paying particular attention to the vehicle that hit you.
Speaking of the vehicle that hit you, you’d be surprised how many people, after an accident, take a dozen pictures of their own vehicle, but none of the vehicle that hit them. You can take pictures of your own car anytime. Whether you drive it back home, or it has to be towed, you can go to where it’s located and take pictures. It’s your car.
But people normally only get one chance to take pictures of the OTHER guy’s car. And that’s at the scene of the accident. Once his car leaves, you don’t know where it is. And even if you did find it, you’d be trespassing if you went on somebody else’s property to take pictures of it. So, at the scene of the accident, take MORE pictures of the OTHER guys car, than your own car.
The LOCATION of damage on his vehicle AND EXTENT of damage on his vehicle can sometimes be important in proving your case.
That’s the 1st of the 3 things you should do after a car crash, document the scene of the accident with pictures. In later videos, we will talk about # (2) documenting liability, and # (3) documenting the existence of Insurance.
# I’m Kirk Piccione, and I’ve been representing people in all kinds of car crashes and trucking accidents for over 30 years. I’ve seen all. So check out my other videos detailing the 3 things you should do after a car crash to protect your rights.
James Kirk Piccione APLC
2701 Johnston St Suite 301
Lafayette, LA 70503
337 233 9030
“Trial by jury is the palladium of our liberties. I do not know what a palladium is, but it is a good thing no doubt at any rate.” Mark Twain