Auto accidents are not always as straightforward as fender benders. One recent crash in Costa Mesa involved three vehicles and sent five people to the hospital. In a case like this, evidence showing what exactly transpired is critical.
A lot will run through your mind after a car accident. However, it is vital you take the time to collect essential evidence that will assist you if this case ends up going to court. You will need it no matter what for your auto insurance company.
Photos of everything at the scene
You will not have the chance to go back later to take pictures. You should photograph both vehicles' exterior and interior. You should try to get it from as many angles as possible to show the weather and other conditions that could have lead to the crash. For example, you may be able to take pictures of skid marks on the road that show how one of the vehicles attempted to prevent the collision.
It is also a good idea to take pictures of the other driver's insurance card and driver's license. It is better to get a photo of an identification card because you can never be too careful. The other driver may give you a fake name and address in an attempt to elude responsibility.
Eyewitness testimony can be one of the best pieces of evidence both for the insurance claim and possible lawsuit. You should look around to see if people in the area saw what happened. You probably do not have time to get a full statement right there on the spot. However, you can ask people for their contact information to get in touch with them later. You should also ask if the person would be comfortable providing testimony to insurance agents and lawyers. Ideally, witnesses should not have any bias in the case, so passengers in your car do not count as good eyewitnesses.