What to Do After a Colorado Car Accident—Car Accident Checklist
You likely have no idea what to do after a car accident. But the steps you take in the minutes and hours following an accident are critical to your ability to hold the at-fault driver accountable and to receive compensation.
We have created this car accident checklist (and downloadable car accident checklist pdf) to help you collect all the important information. The checklist will also help you avoid making errors that can hamstring your case.
Let’s get started!
Check if Everyone is Okay
- Ask everyone in your vehicle if they are okay. If they are injured, call 911.
- Ask the occupants of other vehicles if they want you to call 911.
- Ask someone else to call 911 if you are too injured.
Take Pictures of the Accident Scene
- Take picture of your own vehicle. Focus on any damage to the car.
- Take pictures of other vehicles involved in the collision. Zoom in on damage to the vehicle. Walk around all sides.
- Take picture of the license plate of every car involved in the collision.
- Take at least one picture of the entire scene. Try to get all the vehicles in the picture which will show where they came to rest in relation to each other. Take this picture before vehicles are moved.
- Snap a picture of any skid marks on the road or grass.
- Take pictures of debris on the road, such as side mirrors, hubcaps, shredded tires, etc.
- Get a picture of any obstruction that contributed to the collision, such as a malfunctioning stop light.
- If you are too injured to take a picture, ask someone else to take pictures for you.
Avoid Saying Anything that Could Hurt Your Case
- Don’t apologize. Saying something as simple as “I’m sorry” can be interpreted as you accepting responsibility for the crash. Remember not to apologize.
- Avoid saying you feel “fine,” since this statement could be used against you if injuries develop later.
- Write down any apology the driver makes. You can use these statements against the driver.
- Don’t argue with the other driver. Instead, stay calm.
Gather Information from the Other Driver(s)
- Driver’s name
- License plate number
- Driver’s phone number
- Driver’s home address
- Driver’s license number
- Car Make/Model/Year
- Name of Insurance Company
- Insurance Policy Number
- Write Down Information about the Crash
- Location of the collision
- Date and time of day
- Names of witnesses to the crash
- Witness contact information (phone and email)
- Each witness’ description of the accident
- Request Police Officer Information
- Officer’s name
- Badge number
- Phone number
- Police report number
Write Down Your Memories
Write down what you remember happening in the moments leading up to the crash. Focus on your actions and the actions of the other driver. Did you see the driver on a cell phone before the crash? Was the driver speeding or failing to yield? (Write on the back.)
INJURED IN A CAR ACCIDENT?
Discuss your case with us during a free consultation.
Document Medical Information
Date you went to the doctor
Name of your doctor
Collect Bills & Documentation for Your Case
- Collect all medical bills and put them in a folder.
- Save all receipts for prescription drugs and assistive devices (like crutches, canes, wheelchairs, and bandages).
- Gather pay stubs or proof of self-employed income (profit and loss statements, bank records, etc).
- Keep bills for vehicle repair or repair estimates.
Document Your Physical & Emotional Pain
- Note the location of pain and its persistence (constant, throbbing, piercing, etc.)
- Note which hobbies you have had to give up
- How has pain affected your sleep?
- Have you experienced any of the following types of emotional distress?
- Describe how your emotional distress has affected your relationships
- Names of prescription drugs to treat emotional distress
Report the Accident to Your Insurer
Call your insurer promptly to report the accident.
- Provide basic information to your insurer about the accident.
- Avoid giving a recorded statement about the accident to either your insurer or any other driver’s insurance company.
- Write down the names and direct phone numbers for all insurance agents you speak to.
- Summarize every conversation you have with an insurance agent, including whether any offer of compensation was made.
- Do not sign any letters or settlement offers sent to you by an insurance agent.
Contact an Attorney
This is a vital step to protecting your rights. Only an attorney will know how to make sure that you have collected all information relevant to the crash. An attorney will also analyze the facts to determine who you can hold responsible, if anyone, and the amount of compensation you can receive for economic losses and pain and suffering.
Please contact the Law Office of Steve Roberts for assistance. We have years of experience helping motorists just like you figure out what to do after a car accident. We offer a free consultation where you can discuss the facts you have gathered on this checklist. Please contact us today.
Remember that Colorado law gives you a short amount of time to protect your rights to compensation. In particular, you have only three years from the date of your injuries to bring a lawsuit against the defendant. If someone died, then family members get only 2 years from the date of death to pursue a wrongful death claim. The less you delay, the better.
Need help keeping track of all this information?
Download our car accident checklist PDF. It will help keep a record of all the information you do and don’t have for your insurance claim and a potential lawsuit.