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Be a good journalist and photographer following a car crash

Perhaps you studied journalism in school and were taught the five Ws: who, what, where, when and why. You can put these questions to good use following a car accident. In addition to jotting down notes, you can take pictures to put the details together.

First things first

If you are the victim of a car crash, you should first check yourself for injuries and then check on anyone else involved in the accident. Call 911, even if someone seems to have minor symptoms, such as dizziness. Next, call the police and report the accident.

Collect information

If you are not badly injured, you can begin taking down information about the crash while you wait for the authorities to arrive.

  •         Write down the names and contact information for the other driver and passengers
  •         Take down insurance information
  •         Record the makes, models and license plate numbers of all vehicles involved
  •         Get contact information for any witnesses to the accident
  •         Describe the location of the crash, the weather conditions and the direction in which each vehicle was traveling
  •         Write down the name and badge number of the law enforcement officers who arrive

Take pictures

The camera on your cellphone will come in handy for taking pictures. Photos of the damage to both cars will be helpful for both a legal case, if applicable, and insurance claims along with shots of the crash scene and any markers, such as street signs. Take pictures of skid marks and anything else that may be of help in an investigation. Also, remember to take photos from different angles.

Safety tips

Any time you get behind the wheel of a car, you want to be as safe as possible. Make sure your phone is charged. Keep important documents handy, such as your driver’s license, vehicle registration, insurance documents and medical plan information. Also, keep loose items in the glove box or center console so they will not fly around the car in the event of an accident. If an accident does happen, it is hoped that you will not be seriously injured and can take good notes and pictures at the accident scene.