If you get into an accident, the first thing you’ll want to grab before leaving your vehicle is your smartphone. You’ll likely find that it’s all you need to capture everything necessary to document the crash.
Report the Accident
The days of having to look for a pay phone or go knocking on doors asking to use the phone to report an accident are over: nearly everyone carries a cell phone now. Because of the availability of cellphones and smartphones, there’s really no excuse to fail to report an accident, notify your insurance company, and call a towing company, if necessary.
A picture is worth a thousand words, and nowhere is this more apparent than at the scene of a motor vehicle accident. Although most people do not routinely carry a camera with them, rarely will they leave home without their smartphone. When you’re involved in an accident, remember to use your phone to take photos or videos of:
- The front and back of the other driver’s license, registration, and proof of insurance
- License plates
- The accident scene
- Vehicle damage
- Business cards of any witnesses to the accident
- The other driver, as proof that he was driving
Capturing this information digitally is much more efficient and accurate than writing it down, and you can easily email or text it to your insurance agent or attorney.
Many insurance companies now have accident applications that you can download to your smartphone and then pre-load with emergency contact information, personal data, and vehicle information that will be ready in the event of an accident. These apps commonly track your location using GPS and include complete checklists of what to do in the harried moments following an accident, and even in what order.
Your Smartphone: Don’t Leave Home Without It
Not only does a smartphone make claim documentation and reporting easier, it will also likely be the most accurate record of the accident available, which is extremely important, particularly in the case of a disputed claim.