Every car accident is different, but you should do certain things to do whenever you’re involved in one, assuming you’re physically capable of doing so. You may already know that you should assess the situation and call 911, if necessary. But documenting the crash is also important, and too many people miss out on that step. They might not do it because they feel the adrenaline pumping and get distracted. Or maybe the other driver leaves the scene and they don’t think they can do anything in a hit-and-run. But photos are almost always helpful. Here are three things to know about taking accident photos to boost your insurance claim.

Take multiple angles

If you wanted to tell your friends, “Sorry, I can’t make happy hour; I got into a car accident,” you’d probably send a single shot of the scene as proof. But insurance companies require a lot more documentation. You need to take photos from multiple angles to really ensure you’re getting everything. 

For instance, let’s say someone hydroplanes and hits your car. The weather is an obvious factor in this type of accident, although it’s also likely the driver was going at an unsafe speed for road conditions. If you got rear-ended, you’re going to want to focus first on getting pictures of the impact point. If your trunk is smashed, document that. If the other vehicle has damage on its front end from striking you, get that as well. If the standing water they hit is close by, take a clear photo of it. 

It’s much better to be too thorough than to stop taking photos because you feel awkward. You need proof that the story you’re telling is correct and the other guy’s story is wrong. If he says that you cut him off, you’ll need photos that can disprove that. Accident investigators aren’t psychic; they’re using judgment calls like anyone else to determine who is lying and who is telling the truth.

Store the photos securely

You’ve taken a ton of photos of the accident scene, and now you’re just going to store them on your phone for a while. Don’t do that. Or rather, don’t only store them on your phone. A lot of things could go wrong with your phone. If you lose your photos, then you’re much more likely to lose your insurance claim. 

You need to store them on a secure smart home device. Look at options like ibi that you can keep at your home rather than on your phone. That way, you’ll always have them backed up somewhere. Even if someone steals your phone or you drop it and break it, the photos will still be there to verify your story. And if a police officer or insurance adjuster asks for the photos, you don’t have to spend a lot of time getting them off your smart home device either. You can send photos with a simple link. 

Talk to a lawyer

No one who gets into a car accident thinks, “Great, now I can hire a lawyer!” But it’s sometimes necessary. If your claim is simple and the insurance company isn’t fighting you, then you can carry on as normal. But a car accident lawyer in Nashville may be necessary if your insurance company reaches what you believe is the wrong conclusion about what happened and who is to blame. 

The car accident claims process can be long and stressful. You’ll be tempted to just try to talk to the insurance company yourself and figure out things without a lawyer. But you may be signing over rights you didn’t know you had, so be careful. Take your story and your photos to a lawyer instead. Lawyers love it when potential clients bring photos to the initial consultation. It makes their job easier, and their job is to make your post-car accident life easier.