While it is likely too late for a car accident you have recently been involved in, here’s something you need to know for the future. If you were looking for the perfect tool at the car accident scene to ensure you documented everything you could so any future claim you have goes smoothly, you probably already had it with you: your mobile smartphone.

The smartphone of today pretty much has all the tools you need at the scene of an accident. After a crash, the stuff in your car is often a mess, so finding a pen and your insurance information can prove to be a pretty difficult task. It’s also likely the other driver is experiencing the same problem. This is where your phone can come to the rescue in a variety of ways.

Take Some Photos

Use your phone’s camera to take pictures of everything about the accident, including the debris on the road and where that debris is in relation to the cars involved. Get shots of your bumpers and any other damage to your vehicle. If possible, take photos of the same things on the other car, and try to get pictures of both cars together with some recognizable landmarks in the background. You can also take a short video that hits all these marks. If accident reconstruction needs to be done later, your photos and videos will prove incredibly helpful.

Record the Relevant Information

In absence of paper and pen, you can use the memo-taking feature on your smartphone to type everything down. Get all of the other driver’s info, including his or her name, address, contact number and insurance information. Be sure to also type out the name and contact information of any accident witnesses. Make sure what you’re typing is accurate, and email everything to your email address as soon as you’re done to ensure it’s not lost if something happens to your phone.

Try recording information if you don’t trust your typing, noting the date and time at the recording’s start. You will need oral permission to record the other driver. Do not admit any fault or discuss your own possible fault or mistakes in your recording because this could be used against you later.

If You’re Injured

Call emergency services if you or anyone else at the scene is seriously injured before you start using your phone to collect any evidence. If you’re hurt to the point that you can’t gather any information at the scene, ask a person you trust to do it for you if possible.

If you feel like you might be hurt but it’s not immediately serious and doesn’t warrant emergency medical help at the accident site, seek medical treatment after you’ve dealt with police and documented your case using your phone. Some injuries can start out minor and turn out to be more serious later, such as whiplash. Not getting treatment right away can slow down your recovery time, lead to complications and hurt your case.

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