Use Your Cellphone to Document an Accident


Even if you don’t have GEICO insurance, you know their commercials. The caveman. The gecko. (Who isn’t a gecko, dang it. That’s an anole. But, I digress.) You may not know, however, that they are the industry leaders in terms of mobile applications. Consumers can use their apps on a variety of platforms, including the various “i” devices, BlackBerry, Android, and Windows 7 to do everything from actually buying the coverage, to tracking a claim and paying their bill.

One interesting aspect of the company’s GloveBox app is the ability to upload accident photos. Using your cell phone to document an auto accident is good advice for anyone, whether they’re a GEICO customer or not. In the heat of the moment, many people forget they have a camera in their pocket and it doesn’t matter about the quality of the images. The best camera for the job is the one you have in your hand at the time.

– Photograph the accident from all angles.
– Get isolated shots of specific damage.
– Put some object of a known size, like a ballpoint pen, in the shot to help determine perspective.
– If you are able, document any injuries you may have suffered.
– Photograph the surrounding scene.

Remember, this is not an “I don’t want to waste the film” situation. There is no film and there is no such thing as too many photos of an accident, especially if the question of who was at fault has yet to be determined. Even if the photos are never used, the record you create in the minutes following an accident may make a difference in how your claim is processed and how you’re compensated.

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