GJEL’s Car Accident Preparedness Checklist
- Bottled water
- First aid kit
- Dried/non-perishable food
- Jumper cables
- Disposable camera
The Parties Involved
The first thing to do in the event of an accident is to make sure that anyone who is injured receives the medical care he or she needs. Once it’s clear that everyone has been helped, gather information about the vehicles and drivers involved. Be sure to first get identifying information, such as the license plate number of the other vehicle in case the other driver leaves the scene, turning the accident into a hit-and-run.
If the other driver stays at the scene, as they should, be sure to exchange contact information and insurance information with them.
Were there any witnesses to the accident? If so, they can be helpful later, when the parties in the accident disagree on what happened. Be sure to ask any bystanders if they’d be willing to give you their information in case you need someone to verify the events that took place—and do it immediately after you gather the other driver’s basic information. You don’t want your eyewitnesses to wander away from the scene before you get their information.
Now that you’ve documented who was involved in the accident, be sure to document the scene of the accident. An easy way to do this is to draw the accident on the diagram included on the PDF. The diagram allows you to note and label the positions of the vehicles, the direction they were traveling, and any traffic control devices, such as stop signs or traffic lights.
Pictures of the scene and the damage done to the vehicles are also important. Many drivers keep a disposable camera in the glove compartment for just such a situation, and these days most cell phones can take pictures of sufficient quality.
- Get medical help for anyone injured.
- Exchange information with all drivers.
- Get contact information for passengers and witnesses.
- Take photos of the scene with a camera/iPhone.
- Sketch the accident.
- ONLY discuss the accident with police, NOT others involved.
- Talk to a qualified auto accident lawyer in your area.
- Use a service like Avvo.com, SuperLawyers.com, BestLawyers.com or Lawyers.com to research trustworthy lawyers.