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08 Jan 2016

What Information to Get in a Car Accident

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In the event of a car accident, you want to get as much information as possible at the time of the accident without looking like a reporter. With all the privacy laws today, you may not be able to get some of the information later. What seems like a small fender bender today may end up with serious injuries later that lead to a court case. Having the right information to protect you can make all the difference.

Stay Safe and Play It Smart

Always call the police and an ambulance, if needed, first. Don’t endanger yourself or anyone else to get information or take photos. If you are injured, you may not be able to do everything on our suggested list. Comply with the law as best you can. Never leave the scene of an accident before the authorities arrive. Be careful what you say. Never admit guilt or say, “I’m sorry.”

Do What Ohio Law Requires When Getting Information in a Car Accident

Ohio Code dictates what information to get in a car accident. Drivers should exchange the following information:

  1. Name, address, and phone number

  2. Insurance company and phone number (agent name is useful)

  3. Insurance policy number

  4. License plate number

  5. Make and model and year of vehicle involved

  6. Owner of the vehicle and contact information for him if the driver is not the owner

Record the Basics of Your Car Accident

It is wise to collect more than what is required by law. We recommend you keep a blank notebook and pen in your glove compartment at all times for recording information in case of an accident. Good notes may be worth thousands of dollars to you later. Things to record that can protect you in case of a future lawsuit, include:

  • Date and time of accident

  • Location and landmarks

  • Name, police department, and badge number of officer responding

  • Number of accident report

  • When and where you can get a copy of the officer’s accident report

  • Notes about weather conditions

  • Witness names and contact information

  • Passengers names and contact information

  • EMT names and companies who responded

  • The posted speed limit

  • Speed you were traveling

  • Other vehicles in the area at the time (Get license plate numbers, if possible)

  • Your injuries

  • Injuries others have

  • Damage to your vehicle

  • Damage to other vehicles

  • Draw a sketch of vehicle positions before, during, and after the accident

Protect Your ID When Giving Out Information in a Car Accident

Do not show your actual documents including your driver’s license to anyone other than the police. Copy the basic information the other party needs and hand it to them. They do not need your driver’s license number or your social security number. Do not allow your driver’s license to be photographed.

Get These Photos at the Accident Scene

Use your cell phone to take photos that show what happened. These could be used in court and will be asked for by the insurance company and the lawyers.

Topics should include:

  • Vehicle damage
  • Weather conditions
  • License plate(s) of involved vehicles
  • VIN numbers of involved vehicles
  • Landmarks, street signs or address markers to identify the location
  • Damage to any property at the scene (debris, skid marks, fallen trees, etc.)
Contact us at Custom Auto Body to speak with a collision expert now. We will provide an auto body repair estimate. We can arrange for a tow, rental car, filing an insurance company claim, or the restoration of your vehicle. We will be glad to answer your questions.