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Your cellphone can protect you in the wake of a crash

Experiencing a motor vehicle collision is often a traumatic event. You may have been on the way to the store or work. Suddenly, your vehicle is disabled, and you or your passengers are hurt. Many people are so shaken up in the aftermath of a collision that they make critical mistakes that later cause issues for them, legally and financially.

Thankfully, educating yourself about how to handle a crash can help you make the right decisions if you end up in a collision. Although your cellular phone is a distraction risk when you drive, after a crash, it can be a lifeline and a source of critical evidence.

Call for emergency responders right away

As soon as you have an idea of the severity of the collision, you need to call for medical help and law enforcement. If the accident is in a busy location or there are severe injuries, call an emergency number. Otherwise, you should dial the non-emergency number for local law enforcement.

Having a mobile phone in your car ensures that you can make that potentially life-saving call right from the scene of the accident. You don't have to leave or depend on strangers to call for help. The sooner you call, the sooner the help you need will arrive.

Take pictures or video of the scene as soon as possible

In high traffic areas, like intersections or highways, you may need to move the vehicles to a safe spot while waiting for law enforcement. That can make it difficult to prove what really happened and who was at fault for the crash. Taking pictures of exactly where your vehicles ended up, debris on the road and the condition of your vehicle can all help substantiate your version of events.

You can also record video, which can help you capture what happened immediately before and after a crash. Details that seem fresh in your mind right now can fade as you deal with police reports and medical care. If you saw the other driver engage in questionable behaviors, like pouring out a drink, throwing something out of the vehicle or trading seats with someone else, be sure to make a note of that as well.

You can even start an insurance claim from your phone

Many of the most popular vehicle insurance companies have mobile apps you can install right on your smartphone. You can use the app to advise the company of the crash, upload images of the damage to your vehicle and initiate a claim.

Once you file a police report and seek medical care, you can move forward with your claim. You can also review the documentation from the crash to see if other forms of compensation, like a personal injury lawsuit, are appropriate for your situation.

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