According to the National Highway Transportation Safety Administration, over 2.3 million people were injured and another 33,561 lost their lives in car accidents in the United States in 2012. Illinois is not immune to these sobering statistics; residents saw 956 car accident-related deaths in the state in 2012, while thousands more were injured.
With the high rates of car crashes across the nation, it is statistically likely that every individual will experience at least one car accident in their lifetime. Those who take the time to document their crash may increase their chances of receiving adequate compensation for their damages.
Evaluate initial damages and write it out
After an accident occurs, the most important thing is to get medical attention to anyone who needs it immediately. Edmunds.com advises that when appropriate and as soon as possible after the crash happens, individuals should write down their version of events. Every single person involved, including passengers, should have a written recollection on which they can rely in the future. It may be helpful for accident victims to include diagrams and pictures with explanations to help continually keep the event fresh in their minds.
Exchange insurance information
One of the keys to properly documenting a claim is knowing who the other parties to the matter are. Everyone involved in an accident should exchange insurance information as soon as possible. While law enforcement officers will include the information in their accident report, many insurance companies will not begin the claims process without it.
Gather photographic evidence
Photographs are key to strengthening a claim for compensation. Using a smart phone or a disposable camera kept in the vehicle for this purpose, accident victims should take as many photos as possible. They should be sure to include any damage to the vehicles, skid marks on the road, the location of traffic signs or stop lights in relation the vehicles, anything else that proves driver negligence, and, if appropriate, how the other driver and passengers are acting. In preparation for an accident, individuals should designate a friend or family member who will go to the scene of an accident to perform these tasks if the driver is seriously injured.
When an accident victim has sustained a severe injury, they should be transported by ambulance to a hospital for immediate treatment. All others should see a doctor to document their physical state after the accident. Anyone with injuries should keep a daily journal of how their life has been impacted since the accident. Daily records should include the following:
Documentation is the key to a successful claim, and when done right, it can be a great asset in providing the maximum amount of compensation for a case.