If you’ve been in a car accident and want to ensure you have the best chance at being awarded the settlement you deserve, it’s important to document the scene. While police will do their best in filing their report, you are always your best advocate.
The easiest way to record auto accident damage is to take on the persona of an investigative reporter and collect as much information as you can. The more evidence you accumulate, the better your odds of getting the just compensation from your insurance company.
Document Vehicle Damages With Pictures
A picture is worth a thousand words and possibly thousands of dollars in compensation when it helps prove your case. An insurance claims adjuster will do everything they can to minimize your settlement to cover damages sustained to your vehicle. One of the ways they do this is by bringing into question the evidence presented in the accident report. Your best “counter attack” is photographs.
Since most people these days have a camera phone, it’s an easy undertaking. Take shots from various angles and distances of all vehicles, people and objects involved. Consider taking notes for those photographs if there is any related information you may forget.
Take Pictures of Your Injuries
If you are injured in a car accident, you should also have photographic evidence, assuming the injuries are visible.
Pictures are so important because you are documenting the damages you are seeking compensation for. One of the lesser known benefits is that a digital camera encodes the date photos are taken, strengthening your case by verifying they were taken at the time of the accident and not being staged.
No detail is too trivial. You will likely be asked the following when police fill out the accident report, but make sure to note them yourself:
- The speed you were driving.
- The road conditions at the time of the accident. Were the roads wet? Dry? Was the sun glaring?
- Were pedestrians involved in any way?
- If there are witnesses, see if they are willing to say what they saw and give you contact information if they can’t wait until police arrive.
- Document what the other driver says, either to you or someone else. They may say something revealing in the heat of the moment that could bolster your case.
- Ask for a copy of the police report to make sure your information meshes with theirs. Not all injury claims will require presenting such thorough evidence to your insurance company. But when you do, it will make your case much easier to prove.