How to Document Car Accident Damage

The aftermath of a car accident can be overwhelming. After you’ve checked yourself for injuries, you need to call the police, your insurance company, a tow truck and your loved ones to tell them you’re all right. Then, you’ll need to exchange contact and insurance information with any other drivers involved in the accident. Among all the chaos, it’s vital that you don’t forget to document the collision for insurance purposes. Here’s what to do.

Speak with the Police

Write down the name and badge number of all officers who report to the scene. Ask where you can obtain a copy of the accident report at a later time. Your insurance company may ask to see the report when you file your claim.

Talk to Witnesses and the People Involved

In addition to exchanging information with the other driver, write down the names, phone numbers and addresses of all other parties involved, including the passengers of the other vehicle and any witnesses present.

Take Pictures

Photos from the scene of the accident can make it easier for your insurance company to see what happened. Photos also serve as evidence in court. They may help determine fault and show the extent of the property damage and any injuries that occurred. Here’s what to take pictures of after a car accident:

  • Property damage: Photograph any damage that your car, other cars and surrounding objects sustained in the crash, as well as any skid marks, debris or other evidence that demonstrates the severity of the impact.
  • Injuries: Take pictures of bumps, cuts, scrapes and other visible injuries while still at the scene. Some injuries, such as bruises and swelling, may not show up immediately, so remember to photograph them later.
  • Details about the other car and driver: Document the make, model and license plate number of all vehicles involved. Also take pictures of the driver’s license, insurance and registration information of the other driver.
  • The surrounding scene: Not only does this prove where the accident took place, but it can also show why the accident occurred. For instance, overgrown shrubs may obstruct a stop sign, or a curve in the road could make it difficult to see oncoming traffic. Pictures of nearby businesses also remind you whom to contact if you choose to request security footage that may have filmed the accident.

If you are unable to document the scene because of severe injuries, have another person take pictures for you. If you can’t reach a nearby friend or family member to help, plan to photograph the damages later. Of course, pictures taken at the time of the accident are always preferable.

Once everyone has all the information they need from the scene of the accident, the next step is to start the process of repairing your car. B&L Automotive Repairs offers free estimates for collision repair in Chicago, no appointment required. Stop by after your accident or call us at (773) 463-1622 for more information.

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