If you crash your car, you have to stop whether the accident involved a moving vehicle, a pedestrian, a parked vehicle, or even property. Do not try to run away even if you were not responsible for the accident. If you do, you might be charged with hit-and-run, which can carry severe penalties.
It is very important that you exchange information with the driver or owner of the other vehicle or pedestrian or property owner. Note that some records are confidential, and you won’t get them from the Department of Motor Vehicles. Your best bet is to get that information on the spot.
So what kind of information should you collect?
Here is a list of the information you must collect on the spot.
- the driver’s name, address, telephone number, date of birth, driver’s license number, expiration date, and insurance details.
- the make, year, model number, license plate number, and expiration date of the other vehicle.
- if the car is not owned by the driver, the car’s owner’s name, address, telephone number, and vehicle insurance details.
- if there were other passengers in the vehicle, their names, addresses, telephone numbers, and driver’s license details.
- if there are any witnesses to the accident, their names, addresses, and telephone numbers. Ask them to stay at the scene until the police arrive because the police may have some questions for them. If they want to leave, ask them what they saw of the accident and write it down.
- some people may have seen the accident but refused to stay. Take down their vehicle license plate numbers. If you have this information, the police or your lawyer can always find them later.
- take down the name/badge number of the police officer(s) who comes to scene of the accident. Ask him when and where you can get a copy of the accident report.
- draw a diagram of the accident—where the vehicles were before (and after) the accident. If you notice skid marks on the road, roughly capture them on the paper. Mark any crosswalks, streetlights, or stop signs you notice. If you have a camera, take some pictures of the scene of the accident. You can even take these pictures on your phone camera.
Finally, take notes on road conditions and the weather. If the accident occurred after dark, check if the street lights are working. Make a rough estimate of the speed of your vehicle and the other vehicle at the time of the accident. Record the time, place, and date of the accident. This information will not only help the police with the investigation but also help you with your insurance claims or help you file a case or defend against a case in a court of law.
If someone you love was killed or injured in a crash, contact the Alexander Law Group, LLP today at 888.777.1776. We are a nationally-recognized and award-winning personal injury law firm with offices in San Jose and San Francisco. We are passionate about our clients and our community. If you not sure, read what our clients have to say. All calls are free and confidential