You might think you’ll never forget every last detail of the accident that changed your life, but our brains have a way of rounding off the edges of our memory or missing things entirely. We may be guilty of losing even the most important parts of specific events, so it can be crucial to make sure you make evidence that will last a lifetime.

Studies have shown that humans aren’t just bad at retaining details over time, but sometimes the brain is so focused on dealing with immediate threats that it stops making memories altogether. This is a big part of why evidence can be so crucial after an accident, and making a mound of it could pay off big when it comes time to mount your claim.

Critical thinking

Your brain may not always cooperate, but there are other ways to hang on to those events:

  • Get help as soon as possible: The sooner you can show a connection between your accident and your injury, the better. This could mean getting help from an attending ambulance paramedic, even if you don’t think you need it. It’s better to make sure you let a professional treat you right away, both for your health and to start a trail that leads back to the incident.
  • Create your own evidence: Document the scene as best you can before the cleanup begins. Take photos of every angle at the point of impact and any other surrounding areas that you can use later. You can get rid of unnecessary images, but you can’t go back and get new shots of scattered parts, impact points and tire marks once everything is cleaned up and faded away.
  • Take lots of notes: Make notes of everything you can think of that could prove useful. Jot down the time of day, weather and any other circumstances that may have caused the accident. It may be hard to pinpoint exact weather readings and lighting months down the line.
  • Gather information: Talk to officers that arrive on the scene and find out who they are, and where they operate from. This can help you track down the police report, which will likely be the first official documentation of your accident. You can also speak with witnesses like pedestrians and other drivers that were in the area. Be sure to take down their names and their account of the events for later use.

Using your brain to retain everything that happened at the scene of your accident may be too big of an ask, but you shouldn’t let it off the hook that easily. Focus your thinking instead on gathering up as much evidence as you can for your claim, and it could be the smartest thing you do all day.