Follow these quick and easy steps to ensure your rights will be protected in the event you are injured by a motor vehicle driver:
They don't always arrive, but if they do, request that they prepare a Traffic Collision Report. Be sure to inform them of any injuries or physical complaints you are having. Also provide them with any information you have about witnesses to the incident, including name and phone number.
Write down the full name, address, and phone number of the motor vehicle driver(s). Also write down the name, address, phone number, and policy number of the driver's automobile insurance coverage. Note the physical description of the driver(s) as well as any passengers.
Write down the make, model, color, and license plate number of the vehicle(s) involved in the incident. Make note of where damage is located. Don't rely on the police to do this. If you have a camera, or cell phone with a camera, take pictures of the scene, vehicles, and damage.
Get the full name, address, and telephone number of any witnesses to the incident.
Write a brief summary of the incident, including what street/roadway each party was on, their speed, and direction of travel. Include where the point(s) of impact were, along with the location of debris and skid marks, if any. Recall as much information as possible, because with the passage of time, many details are often forgotten. You can add more detail to the description later.
Depending on the extent of your injuries, seek medical attention at an emergency room, or with your family doctor. Take photographs of any visible injuries, such as cuts, bruises, abrasions, etc.
Protect your rights by contacting an attorney who handles personal injury cases. Provide the attorney with all the information you have obtained, so that additional investigation can be performed, if necessary. Key evidence and witnesses need to be secured early, as the more time that passes, the more likely such evidence and witnesses will be lost.
Diana K. Zilko, Esq. is located in Brea, California. She handles personal injury, family law, bankruptcy, and estate planning matters, and can be reached at ZilkoLaw@aol.com or via telephone at 714-256-1200.