Here’s your insurance tip for the day from Johnston & Associates Insurance: if you’re in an automobile accident – TAKE LOTS OF PICTURES OF ALL VEHICLES INVOLVED IN THE ACCIDENT. In the era of smartphones, and even basic ones for that matter, it is not difficult to snap a few pics of the damages before you do anything else at all. Now you have evidence on your side which will do nothing but benefit you. Without them you’re likely to find yourself in a “he said, she said” situation.
Another pro-tip is to take pictures of your car the day you get it. This way you have “before shots” to show the insurance companies or courts should it come to that. When the other driver proclaims that you already had the dent in question, these pictures will become extremely handy and should shut down his argument in short order. Be aware that a close-up shot of your dent could be misconstrued as any vehicle of the same color. The remedy there is to take a lot of pictures from a lot of angles. Here are a few tips:
1) Take Wide Shots First. Move back away from the subject matter (without stepping into oncoming traffic) and snap off a few from there and other angles. This will establish the scene, basically.
2) Get Pics of the Entire Vehicle. What happens when you think the fender is the only damage to later find out your trunk is dented. Taking pictures of the entire vehicle will help ensure that all damages have been documented, even if you missed it after giving it a once-over look-see.
3) Don’t forget the Other Vehicle. Yours was not the only vehicle involved so don’t let your pictures seem biased by not photographing the ENTIRE scene including any other vehicles associated with it. This also prevents truth stretching on the other party’s part.
4) Look Around for other Effected Items. Look for skid marks, strewn hubcaps, glass in the road, and anything else that wasn’t there before the accident. There's evidence in all of these things that you may not even be aware of. For instance, how can you prove you used your brakes? Skid marks will probably do it!