Whether you have an Android or iPhone, there’s no denying the fact that smartphones make our lives infinitely easier while on the go. Help is only a quick key press away during any emergency, and GPS tracking makes it possible for family members and emergency response vehicles to locate their loved ones during a crisis. A mobile phone can mean the difference between life and death at times.
During a car accident, specifically, having a smartphone can make a huge difference in not only how quickly emergency teams can locate the victims of the crash, but also how quickly those involved can reach loved ones and insurance providers, begin the necessary filing processes, take pictures, obtain contact info, and keep track of information that may be useful later. All of these things can ease the stress of being in an accident, hasten the recovery process if any injuries are incurred, and accelerate the often-complicated process of settling an insurance claim or lawsuit.
How is all this possible? Let’s dig into the specifics of how a smartphone can make a significant difference during the aftermath of a car accident—and even be a life saver:
The most obvious benefit to having a smartphone with you during a car accident is the fact that you can use it to call 911 as well as get a hold of loved ones or anyone else who may be able to help. There are even apps you can use that will automatically reach out to the local police department when an accident is detected via GPS. Some of these apps include crisis checklists similar to one we recently published [provide link to “what to do immediately following a car accident”] as well as auto repair shop suggestions and sample forms.
Additionally, after medical help arrives, you can use a smartphone to contact your automobile insurance provider or a personal injury attorney. Getting the insurance claim process started as quickly as possible is recommended, and if you are interested in seeking legal aid or advice, getting in touch with a local attorney immediately after the accident is often paramount to a quick and painless trial.
If you are involved in a serious accident, the emergency response team with the permission of your loved ones can use the GPS tracking device in your smartphone to locate your vehicle. This can be a life saver if you or the driver end up unconscious for whatever reason or if the accident happened in a remote location that’s difficult to find. As mentioned above, some GPS and emergency response apps are also able to automatically get a hold of emergency services as soon as the app senses that an accident occurred, sending help immediately.
A smartphone can be used to easily take photographs of everything you might need for insurance or legal purposes later on. You may want to take pictures of your damaged vehicle as well as pictures of the surrounding area, the street, any skid marks on the road, any debris on the road, or any obscured road signs, etc., that may have contributed to the accident. In addition, it can be a good idea to take pictures of the other vehicle involved in the accident as well as that vehicle’s license plate. Photos make a great reference tool later on.
Grabbing Contact Info
Before leaving the scene of an accident, you’ll want to get the contact information of the other involved party as well as of any witnesses who are willing to give an account of what happened. Even if a police report is filed on-scene, it can be a good idea to save this information for legal purposes. You can either use the contacts section in your smartphone to store this info or use the default note-taking application to quickly save it for later. Some GPS/accident apps even have built-in sections for contact info.
Remember the days when you’d need to carry around a pen and paper in your car’s glovebox in case of an emergency? Those days are long gone thanks to how handy a smartphone can be when it comes to taking notes and having them available at a moment’s notice. There are numerous apps out there that can be used to save important info, but one of the most useful is one that’s already installed on any phone by default—the “Notes” app.
Any important information can be saved here, including witness contact info, addresses, descriptions of identifying landmarks, notes regarding the pictures you take, reminders to follow up about the police accident report, etc., and even witness accounts. Your notes can later be used when filling out paperwork or making phone calls. Most note-taking apps also conveniently store things on a cloud-based level, making it easy to pull up info on other devices later.
In addition to potentially saving your life and making the initial claim/filing processes easier, reaching for a smartphone during the first moments of a crisis can have a sort of grounding, calming effect, helping you remember what you need to focus on. Focus on the basics first, prioritizing the health and safety of yourself and any passengers. Reach for the phone. Call 911. After that, begin the process of rebuilding.
When it comes to seeking legal advice or legal aid after a car accident, don’t hesitate to get in touch with a caring law firm like Thomas Law Offices as soon as you’re able to. Tad Thomas and his staff are ready to give you a helping hand and walk you through the process of filing a lawsuit or simply seeing if you’re a good candidate for a case.