Car accidents are very traumatic for most people, regardless of how serious the accident. Following an auto accident, it is important to do a few post-collision tasks to ensure that your insurance company has the information they need. It is important not to fully trust police on the scene, or other people involved or witnessing the accident, to recount the incident. Drawing out the accident scene is one of the post-event tasks that will help your insurance company and you determine what happened.
- Skill level:
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Things you need
- Pen or pencil
- Camera, disposable camera or cell phone camera
Take pictures of the accident scene with a camera or your cell phone camera from all angles. Walk around the area a full 360 degrees and take as pictures from all angles. This will help in recreating your sketch of the scene.
Take notes on the vehicles involved in the accident--year, make, model, and the driver's information. Make sure to get the other driver's name, address, phone number and insurance details. Ensure that you have the name of their insurance company, the phone number, their policy number and the expiration date on their insurance card.
Take notes on the location of the accident. Record information on the street you were driving on; intersection information; any nearby street signs; the direction you were travelling; the direction the other vehicle was travelling; the businesses nearby and the direction or angles of the vehicles after the accident.
Be sure to record the date, time and weather conditions at the time of the accident. These are minor details you may forget later. Writing them down right away will help ensure accuracy for your insurance accident report.
Sketch out the scene as accurately as possible. You can go back to your photos later and add more information if needed. Ensure you draw out the street you were on, using arrows to show which direction the vehicles were travelling.
Place the vehicles on the roadway pre- and post-accident. Label the cars clearly with numbers to show which car is which. Draw in the street signs, curbs, buildings, other vehicles, people standing near the scene, light standards and any topographical information relating to the area.
At home, finalise your drawing by referring to your photos on a clean sheet of paper. Add the names of the streets, the intersection details and as much other details to your sketch as possible. The more information you have the better. Include all driver and witness information, and their locations on the scene.
Give all the information to the insurance company and to the police. Be sure to keep a copy for yourself. Include copies of the photos with your report.
Tips and warnings
- You should always carry a camera in your vehicle to help you in the event of a collision, if you don't have cell phone with a camera. You can purchase an inexpensive disposable camera to keep in your glove compartment.
- Carry a small pad of paper and a pen or pencil in your glove compartment to take notes of an accident, including the names and phone numbers of any witnesses.
- Report the accident to the police and your insurance company as soon as possible.
- If you are injured or can't record information at the time of the accident, go back to the location and record data. Ask the police for their accident report to help with your sketch.
- Do not rely on other people, even police, to properly recount the accident. Having your own files on the accident will ensure that your insurance company has all the pertinent information.
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