How to Document an Accident

Taking a Picture of Car Wreck

Today, nearly two-thirds of adults own a smartphone. We all seem to constantly carry them around wherever we go. They can be useful in many situations, including after an accident. We use them to call for help and law enforcement, but not everyone thinks of the other ways that smartphones can be helpful after an accident. When it comes time to make an insurance claim, the more information you have, the better. Being able to clearly establish fault and the extent of damage with photo and video evidence will help your case. Here are a few ways to use your smartphone to document an accident.

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Any accident may cause some initial shock, but keeping calm will help bring the situation under control. Try to follow these initial steps to document the accident appropriately:

1. Call Law Enforcement

No matter what type of accident it is, calling law enforcement is in your best interest. It is especially important if people are injured or the damages appear to be costly. Remember that costly damages do not require a major crash, particularly if there is a late model vehicle involved. Having law enforcement present also facilitates the exchange of important information between parties. Plus, a police report contributes to the credibility of a claim and helps the insurer figure out who was at fault. It will also include other important information you might have missed.

2. Take Photos and Videos of the Scene

A smartphone's high-resolution camera is perfect for creating a visual document of the incident. Whether you are at fault in an accident or not, it is always prudent to document as much as possible. Take photos of the vehicles before they are moved from the impact area if it is safe to do so. Include landmarks to help guide the viewer. If the cars are on a busy road, move them and then take photos. Photograph the damage to your car and to the other person’s car as well their license plate number, the driver and any passengers present.

3. Collect Insurance Information

Keep a record of the other person’s insurance and contact information. Be sure to detail how the accident happened and include contact information of any witnesses who are willing to go on the record. It might be easier to make a video of the scene, it should reflect all the information that would regularly be on photographs, including landmarks as previously suggested, and if possible tape witnesses' testimony. Describe the events leading up to the accident. You may even ask the other driver to do the same. 

4. Contact the Insurance Company to Report the Accident

Every insurance company is different, but you can usually find a phone number to file a claim on the insurance card or on the company’s contact information. You’ll most likely be able to report an accident and begin to file a claim while you're on the phone. Your insurance company may have its own app.

If you’re an Infinity Insurance customer, you can either call 1-800-334-1661 or download the Infinity Insurance app to report your accident.

There’s an App for That

There are numerous apps available that offer checklists to follow after an accident making sure that every aspect of the accident required to be documented is taken care of.

To recap: remember that after an accident it is most important to keep safe and remain calm. Stay out of traffic, especially in high traffic areas. Documentation should be addressed once everyone is safe and law enforcement has been called. If the documentation is not readily accessible or you forget to collect it properly while at the scene, your insurance company can help.

The materials available in the Knowledge Center are for informational purposes only and not for the purpose of providing legal advice. You should contact legal counsel to obtain advice with respect to any particular issue or problem. Use of this website or any of the links contained within the website do not create representations or warranties of any kind, express or implied, about the completeness, accuracy, reliability, suitability or availability with respect to the website or the information, products, services, or related graphics contained on the website for any purpose. Any reliance you place on such information is therefore strictly at your own risk.

The materials available in the Knowledge Center are for informational purposes only and not for the purpose of providing legal advice. You should contact legal counsel to obtain advice with respect to any particular issue or problem. Use of this website or any of the links contained within the website do not create representations or warranties of any kind, express or implied, about the completeness, accuracy, reliability, suitability or availability with respect to the website or the information, products, services, or related graphics contained on the website for any purpose. Any reliance you place on such information is therefore strictly at your own risk.