The Complete Car Accident Damage and Injury Checklist

If you are in a car accident, then you can help your claim significantly by knowing how to react and what to do after the crash.

Immediately after an accident, do the following:

  • Record the date and time of the accident
  • List the names, addresses and phone numbers of all individuals in your car.
  • Obtain the name, addresses and phone numbers of any individuals or witnesses that saw what happen or witness the crash.
  • Note the road conditions—icy, dry, wet, snow, etc.
  • Diagram the intersections and street conditions including any road curvatures pavement and slope, obstructions to view, car placement, traffic signals, railroad tracks, zone, etc. Photographs are critical in documenting the scene!
  • Take photos of the car you hit, especially any previous damage.
  • Jot down the officers name and badge number and get access to any police report that was generated after the accident
  • Give a complete description of the scene: What was the lighting? Where the cars' headlights on? Should the headlights have been on? What was traffic like? After the accident, where was the debris? Where there skid marks? Include any relevant information about the scene before, during, and after the accident.
  • Condition of the other car: Make sure the other driver gives a full description of anything not working correctly. Check state inspection records to make sure the car was legal. Get the age, model, make, and VIN of the other car.
  • Record any pain you experienced quickly after the accident so you will be able to remember what hurt. Keep track of any medical treatment, including transportation to medical services.
  • Make sure anyone who worked on the other person's car, either to transport it after the accident or make the necessary repairs, gives a statement about the condition the car was in.
  • Remember everything the other driver did and said after the accident.

If you are a passenger involved in an accident, immediately secure the following information:

  • Who was the driver of the car and what is your relationship to the driver?
  • What was the nature of your trip?
  • If other passengers in the car voiced complaints about the driver's operation of the vehicle.
  • Had the driver or anyone in the car been drinking?
  • Why were you riding with the driver?
  • Was anyone hurt in the vehicle?
  • What is your prior knowledge of the driver's record or driving history?

Personal Injury Checklist

If you have been injured in the accident, the following is a checklist of items you will need for your personal injury claim:

  • Any and all documents pertaining to medical treatment expenses. Hospital bills, prescription medicine receipts, physical therapy invoices, and any other bill or invoice reflecting the cost of treatment.
  • Out-of-pocket expenses for child care, household assistances, travel to and from medical appointments.
  • Documents any missed appoints with clients or business trips
  • Document any missed interviews or missed opportunities for a better job.
  • Lost wage and income verification letter from your employer - this should be on company letterhead and included the following:
    • your name
    • address
    • social security number
    • date you started with employer
    • dates you were unable to work
    • Avg. weekly salary
    • Commission Amt lost
    • Bonus Amt lost
    • Tips and gratuities
    • Overtime Lost
    • If applicable, note loss of any vacation time, sick leave, future earning capacity

      Make sure your lost wage and income verification letter clearly states who signed it, their title and the date it was signed.

  • Self employment income verification: If you are self employed and unable to continue your business, then you will probably have to sign an Affidavit of Self Employment. An affidavit is a legal document that holds you to what you swear to. Your Affidavit of Self Employment should:
    • Swear to the fact that you are self employed,
    • Provide your personal information (name, age, address, office location if you have one)
    • State your average earnings per week at the time of your accident
    • State the date of the accident
    • Note the period that you were unable to work
    • Declare how much income you lost out on because of being hurt in the accident

Your affidavit will require supporting documents such as tax returns, business reports, and any documents verifying missed appointments, lost clients, and lost income. You will need to have the document notarized.

If you have any questions about what to do after a car accident, you can consult with a car accident attorney for advice and assistance.