One of the most powerful tools to help you after a car accident is right at your fingertips.

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Today’s smartphones can take the quality photos needed for evidence at the scene of an accident – and record the data needed to help resolve your case.

If there are injuries, the most important thing is to call 911 to summon first-responders to the scene. Once police and emergency medical technicians (EMTs) have treated anyone injured and safely secured the site, it is to your advantage to have photos of the scene before the vehicles are moved and evidence is possibly cleaned up or removed.

It all happens quickly, and the moment is gone. Your cellphone photos or video taken immediately after the accident, showing any damage to your car and any others, can be a powerful witness for your case in court or to the insurance company. A set of close, medium, and comprehensive photos are most helpful.

You will need to exchange information with any other drivers, and again your smartphone is readily at hand to record a photo of the other party’s insurance and driver’s license information.

If there are other witnesses, you don’t want to lose access to their potential testimony. Exchange personal information with them via phone so that their witness account isn’t lost.

If you are injured, pictures will speak on your behalf after injuries heal. When you get home, take photos of any cuts, abrasions, or trauma. Your memory of the incident should also be recorded as soon as possible, and for this you can use the phone’s video or voice recorder capability.

There are several Android and iPhone applications for your phone to assist after an accident. However, your built-in camera alone can do the job.

Safe motoring. And keep those cellphones charged.

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