We all know the dangers of distracted driving. In this day and age, texting and driving is probably the most well-known distracted driving activity there is. It is no secret that using your phone while driving can quickly turn absolutely catastrophic. That is why it may come as a surprise to learn that your smartphone can actually be your most powerful tool after you are involved in a car accident. Seem paradoxical? Well, in reality, your smartphone actually has everything you might need after having to deal with an automobile accident.
Even if you did not already know this intellectually, there is a high chance you knew this intuitively. In fact, you have likely already taken steps to use your smartphone to your advantage after an accident of any kind before. This blog post may help illuminate further ways for you to do so. Read on to find out more.
If you have been involved in an auto accident before, you already know that documentation is key to winning your case. It is absolutely essential to prove that the other party was at fault, and it is impossible to do that without a wealth of evidence on your side. Your smartphone has a camera, a notes app, a voice recording app, and more—perfect for recording any evidence you may have. There is no reason for you to deal with pen and paper and the hassle that they bring when everything you need is just right at your fingertips. After all, when was the last time you went without your smartphone anyway?
The most obvious way to use your smartphone after an automobile accident is to take photographs of both your car and the cars of any other involved parties. This way, you can establish what damages occurred on either end, in case the other party tries to argue otherwise. By having concrete proof that you suffered property losses in an accident, you are one step closer to collecting the damages you are rightfully owed. Make sure that you do not just take photographs of the damaged areas alone—take photographs of all involved cars from all angles. This prevents the other party from being able to wrongfully claim that you caused damage to their car that you did not actually inflict. You will also want to record evidence of any other effects of the accident, from debris and brake marks on the road to the interior of the car, if applicable.
In fact, it may be beneficial to take a video recording immediately after the accident. This way, you can gauge the reactions of all those involved while documenting any damages anyone has incurred. You may even want to record yourself asking the other party what their account of the accident is. You may want to ask questions such as, “Can you read me your license information?” “Can you show me your proof of insurance?” “What do you think happened to cause the accident?” and “Do you think I did anything wrong?”
A video recording of these answers right after the accident has the possibility to produce more truthful answers than questioning by insurance companies long after the fact. The reason for this is that drivers often think of ways to cover themselves after the shock wears off, regardless of whether or not they really were at fault to begin with. Thus, an impromptu video recording (or even audio recording) has the potential to elicit more candid answers. However, you should know that each state has different consent laws when it comes to recording conversations. This makes it vitally important for you to procure the consent of the other party if you choose to record. If you are in a two-party consent state and the other party does not record, the recording will be inadmissible in a court of law.
When it comes to using your smartphone after an accident, it is important for you to be forthcoming with your intentions—not just because of the consent laws, but also because there is no reason for you not to be. It is perfectly legitimate for you to use your phone to record relevant information, and you are not a private detective. Make sure you record a copy of any relevant insurance cards, license plates, and contact information on your phone and be sure to file it in a way that ensures you will not lose it.
Fortunately, most car accidents are relatively minor affairs and can be easily sorted out with simple communication between all involved parties and the relevant insurance agencies. You may not need your smartphone for anything more than the reasons we have just listed above. However, depending on the severity of your automobile accident, you may also want to use your phone to call for assistance.
This can include calling the police department to have officers take official records of your auto accident, calling your insurance agent to tell them what happened and ask what to do next, or even calling your lawyer for legal counsel. It is especially important to do these things if you have suffered personal injury as a result of the accident—again, you will want to ensure that you have as much documentation as possible for your claim. If matters call for it, you may even need to use your cellphone to call an ambulance.
We understand that dealing with a car accident is always stressful, no matter how big or small. It is especially difficult to handle when you have suffered personal injury as a result of someone else’s negligence. At Injury Victim Law, we believe that you should never have to pay for somebody else’s mistakes. If you or a loved one have recently been involved in an auto accident, our nationwide personal injury attorneys may be able to help. Although we are a Colorado-based firm, our team of experts and investigators is here to help no matter where you are located in the United States. Contact us today to schedule an initial consultation with one of our qualified nationwide car accident lawyers. We will make sure to put all your questions and concerns to rest.