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4 Tips to Document an Automobile Accident From the Palm of Your Hand


Back in 1999 -- when NSync was still a thing and people used house phones -- documenting your car accident and injuries took luck and effort. In 2017, a little foresight is still required, but not as much luck. Miniature cameras called smartphones have made all the difference. With this advanced technology in mind and in hand, here are 4 Ways to Document Your Case, which will ultimately strengthen it:

1. Take Pictures! This might be easier said than done. If you’ve been in a serious accident, it may take some time to get your bearings. You might even be rushed to the hospital. If that’s the case, don’t worry about the pictures. Wait until you’re well enough to ask your spouse, child, or friend to go to the scene to photograph the damage, or what’s left of it. If the intersection is all cleaned up, photograph the scene. Then find the car lot where the vehicles are being stored and photograph them.

Many people have the presence of mind to photograph the car damage but don’t think about photographing their injuries. Make sure you do both. And do it continually. Take pictures immediately after the accident, a week later, two weeks later, and so on, until you’re healed.

2. Take Videos! A picture really is worth 1,000 words, and a video is worth 1,000,000. If you’re able, take a video of the scene. Feel free to narrate. Record witness statements, if possible. Take a video of your injuries. Take a video a week later, a week after that, and so on, until you’re healed. Have your spouse, child, or friend make a “day in the life” video of the challenges you’ve faced since the accident. This type of documentation can be invaluable.

NOTE: if you don’t have space on your phone for more pictures or videos, start using iCloud, Google Photos, Dropbox, or OneDrive for storage and automatic backup. If you’re old-school, get an external hard drive and create more space.

3. Journal! There are countless apps that make journaling easy, if not fun. Day One, Momento, My Wonderful Days, and Heyday are just a few. And if you don’t want to download a special journaling app, use your phone’s pre-installed note-taking app, OneNote, Google Keep, or Evernote. Whatever platform you use, keep a daily or weekly log of how your injuries feel, your struggles, your appointments, and all the costs you’re incurring as a result of the injuries.

4. Keep Receipts! Speaking of costs, keep copies of all your receipts. Buy a file folder and put every receipt in that file folder. If you want to go the extra mile, take a picture or scan the receipt with your smartphone and store them all in one place electronically.

We are well into the 21st century. Take advantage of the technology available to document and strengthen your case. Don’t depend on an insurance company to adequately photograph the scene or the damage or otherwise document your case for you. They’re not looking out for you. No one is, so you must. If you want an advocate at your side, hire a personal injury attorney, who can give you these kinds of suggestions and more so that you’re not left paying for damages caused by someone else.

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