How To Document Auto Accident DamageThe best way to document auto accident damage is to adopt the mindset of an investigative reporter and gather as much information as possible. The more evidence you collect, the better your chances of obtaining just compensation from the auto insurance company for your car's damages.
Document Auto Accident Damages With Pictures
A picture is worth a thousand words and maybe even a thousand bucks when it comes to gathering crash-scene evidence. An insurance company's accident claims adjuster will do everything in his or her power to minimize your insurance settlement to cover damages sustained to your vehicle. They have many ways of doing this, including questioning evidence presented in accident reports.
The best way to counter this is through photos. The more photos you snap, the more evidence you have to substantiate your accident claim.
If you don't have a camera, use the photo option on your cell phone. The more pictures the better. Take multiple photos from different angles and distances of your car's damages ― this includes interior and exterior. Also take photos of skid marks, road obstructions, missing or bent road signs, potholes or any other evidence that may provide insight to the how and why behind the accident.
Once you get home, develop the photos immediately. You'll then want to record notes on the back of each photo, describing, in detail, what each picture documents.
Record Auto Accident Details On Paper
After snapping photos, take a few moments to record the events of the crash on paper. Details are important. If the case goes to court, there will be a lot of time ― usually months― between the crash and the trial, causing your memory to dim. Notes can help preserve accuracy.
Try, if you can, to record:
- The speed you were driving.
- The current road conditions (wet, dry, sun glare).
- Whether any other distractions came into play like pedestrians, adjusting the car radio or talking on a cell phone.
- Anything you overheard following the crash―what the other driver may have said, or what witnesses shared.
Remember, no detail is too insignificant; record everything.
Request a Copy of the Police Report
You'll also want to obtain a copy of the police report. This will allow you to gauge the accuracy of your notes, while paying special attention to any possible inconsistencies with your account.
Presenting Your Crash Evidence
Depending on how your accident claim is handled, you may not have to present your crash evidence to the car insurance company. But if you do, you'll be glad you took the time to gather and file detailed evidential proof.
Most insurance carriers are pros at handling all sorts of insurance claims, but if you are unhappy thought the claims experience, maybe it is time to check out a few new car insurance companies.