Let's specifically examine the iPhone as a sample device for recording images and other observations at the scene of an accident.
Auto Accident Apps
There free application for iPhone that are designed to collect information and details related to an accident. On one that we noticed, there is a screen, for instance, which displays an avatar of the front and back of the driver's body. Tapping on certain areas indicates locations of pain and discomfort. Auto Accident App has a rating of 4 ½ stars on iTunes, but this is probably from fake reviews. Another problem with this app is that it asks for too much information. You should never give that much information to an untrusted source, especially when it can be used against you in an auto accident.
iWrecked – Auto Accident Assistant
This is a competitor application for iPhone, also free, that has the same basic functionalities as Auto Accident App. Its graphic design is more immediately captivating, and its iTunes page initially looks impressive, saying that it is “recommended” by publications including The New York Times and Consumer Reports. The remainder of the page reveals multiple one-star reviews – the top one indicating a total loss of accident information – and an overall rating for the current version of two stars.
Your Insurance Company's App
Chances are your insurance carrier has an iPhone application which allows you to record the scene of the accident (for example, here are those for State Farm and Progressive). The potential problem with using your insurance company's application is that after an accident, you are not just a customer, but a potential claimant. Information provided to your insurance company could potentially be used against you in settlement negotiations or in court.
Apps – Generally Speaking
It may seem helpful to download one of the auto accident applications after looking at its parameters, but the safest way to document an auto accident is simply using your iPhone's standard features. This way you don't have to worry about any of the information being used against you by an insurance company or opposing attorney.
Additionally, due to issues with instability and potential loss of information, relying on an app is not a safe bet. Instead, consider using these basic functionalities of your phone:
- Camera – Photograph property damage, driver, driver's insurance card, driver's license, and anything else that might be helpful.
- Recorder – Record any eyewitness testimony. Be sure to have witnesses “tag” any recorded statements with their name, phone number, and email address. • Notes – Write down your own observations of the accident as well as anyone else's. Directly quote any statements that are made as possible.
- Mail – As soon as you collect any information, immediately email it to yourself. Keep doing this as you collect pictures, your own thoughts, and any other statements. Backing up this vital information cannot be underscored enough.
If you get into an accident, three phone calls will help to immediately protect your rights: police, insurance company, and accident attorney. Accident attorneys (a.k.a. personal injury attorneys) provide free initial consultations, advice to help you avoid missteps and collect a larger settlement. Contact Andriotis Law Firm if you or a loved one needs assistance when an accident strikes.