When gathering evidence about fault, you should:
It is a good idea to write down what happened in the accident while it is still fresh in your mind. You can prepare a statement, keep a note, or prepare a diary entry.
If the matter goes to a hearing at court you can use this information to prepare a statement. You can attach copies of any diagrams you draw, quotes and invoices you obtain, and photos you take.
If you start a court case against the other driver, and need help preparing a statement, see:
Instructions for preparing your statement (Plaintiff) - car accidents and
Sample statement (Plaintiff) - car accidents in the Debt - small claims section of this website.
If you receive a claim from the other driver, and need help preparing a statement, see:
Instructions for preparing your statement (Defendant) - car accidents and
Sample statement (Defendant) - car accidents in the Debt - small claims section of this website.
If there were witnesses to the accident, you will need their contact details. If you were not able to get these at the scene of the accident, but the police were there, you may be able to get this information from the police. For more information, see
Calling the Police.
After the accident you can contact any witnesses who saw or heard something that supports your claim, and ask them to prepare and sign a statement about the accident. You should contact witnesses as soon as possible after the accident so they don't forget any details. If the matter goes to court, the hearing date could be months or even years after the accident happened. The statements should not include opinions or beliefs or arguments about the law. They should include information about what the person saw, heard, did or said.
You can't force a witness to give you a statement. If the case goes to court, you may be able to serve the witness with a subpoena which orders them to give evidence.
For more information, see
Instructions for preparing witness statements - car accidents.
For an example of a witness statement, see
Sample witness statement - car accidents.
It is a good idea to:take photos of the place where the accident happened take photos of the damage to your car, and to the other car, or other damaged property.
You could take photos of the damage to the other vehicle with your mobile phone or camera.
You should make a sketch of
how the accident happened. A sketch can be helpful when dealing with insurance companies or if the matter goes to court. You should include as much information about the accident as possible. You can include the following:
If the Police came to the accident, you should apply for a copy of the Police Incident Report. For more information, see
Calling the Police.