Car accident victim on phone after a wreck in MassachusettsYour personal injury claim begins at the scene of the accident. Even if you don’t plan on making a claim in the moments after the accident you should still take these steps to protect yourself from the possibility of the other party making a claim against you. The first common costly error that people make in not documenting the accident scene. At the scene of your accident you should:

  1. Identify Witnesses – It can be very difficult to impossible to track them down later. Witnesses that don’t know either party are the tie-breaker in any “he said, she said” situation.
  2. Photograph Vehicles – take a picture of the vehicle before they are moved, damage to both vehicle and license plates this is invaluable in disputes regarding liability, circumstance and damages. By taking pictures of the cars, even separately we are nearly always able to determine how the accident occurred based on damage to the cars.
  3. Surrounding circumstances – Was there a no turn on red sign? Was there a light that was not working? Were there poor conditions on the road that day? Taking pictures of the area of the accident at the time that occurred will help greatly in reconstructing the accident and determine liability.
  4. Get the personal information and insurance information of the driver and the vehicle owner – Ask for information from the driver and (if different) the owner of the other vehicle involved. There are several possible reasons why people conceal their identities and attempt to deny they were present at the scene of an accident. Photos prove who was present. 
  5. Inform the Police – Assuming the accident warrants a call to the police, call 911. They can provide assistance if the other driver is being uncooperative. However, in many major cities police are not called to the scene of an accident. You should check to make sure that a police report of the accident has been filed. Police reports can be very helpful in constructing responses for discovery and serve as an account the accident.

Contact a Personal Injury Lawyer Near You

A personal injury attorney is only as good as their knowledge of the law where the accident occurred. For example, if you are visiting South Boston from Philadelphia and you get into a car accident. It would behoove you to get in touch with an auto accident attorney in Massachusetts, as opposed to Pennsylvania. This also helps with insurance issues, but that is a topic for another post.

If you are from the same state in which the accident occurred, your local injury attorneys will be able to assist with your injury claim, but contact them fast! The longer you wait to act, the worse your case may get. Brooks & Crowley, LLP, has offices in Dedham, Boston and Norwell, Massachusetts.

Neil P. Crowley
Personal injury attorney for vehicle and construction accident, premises liability and wrongful death cases.