You may consider yourself to be a conscientious driver, but unfortunately, that won’t always keep you out of harm’s way while you navigate the roadways. The car insurance industry estimates that the average driver will file a claim for a car accident about every 18 years, meaning that you could be in a fender bender or a serious, injury causing accident. Although the events that occur following an accident can be stressful and even a bit unclear, according to Tim Tate, Dallas, Texas car accident lawyer of Tate Law Offices, PC, there are crucial steps to take immediately after an accident including seeking medical attention to collecting contact information. Fortunately, your smartphone can be a helpful tool in the event of an accident.
When It’s Okay to Use Your Smartphone
We all know that smartphones may actually be one of the many contributing factors in a majority of distracted driving accidents, but despite their bad rep, a smartphone may actually be a valuable tool when you’ve been involved in an accident (just make sure you weren’t looking at or using your phone at the time of your collision). Here some important steps to take when an accident occurs:
- Assess the Situation: Before you get out of your car and check on the other people who were involved in the accident. Assess yourself and anyone else in your car. Are you or your passengers injured? Are you able to get out of your car? Is it safe to exit your vehicle? If you are able to, check on the other drivers and/or passengers that were involved. Use your phone to call 911 for the police and/or an ambulance. Even if there are no injuries or the damage is minor, consider calling the police so that an official report can be filed as it can be helpful during an insurance claim.
- Document the Scene of the Accident: Many people who have been involved in an accident are sure that they’ll never forget the details of the crash, but even a short amount of time can change how things really went down, that’s why it’s important to take pictures or video as soon as you can. Smartphones have great cameras these days, so there’s no excuse to not take pictures of the accident. Consider taking pictures of any and all damage on your vehicle, the area around the vehicle, the street, the other vehicles, and any visible injuries to your body.
You may also want to consider using your video feature to narrate your side of the story while documenting the accident scene. Remember, the more information the better. You can always delete something you won’t need, later on.
- Take Additional Notes: Don’t forget to take notes and collect important contact information, such as license plates and insurance information, of other drivers. It’s also important to collect the names and numbers of any witnesses. If possible (and with permission) it may be a good idea to film an eye witness.
Once you have used your smartphone to collect all the pertinent information surrounding your accident, consider backing up your information to personal computer or making sure your cloud service is on, just in case photos or other information gets accidentally deleted.