Retaining Evidence at an Accident Scene With Your Phone

After an accident critical evidence from the accident scene can disappear if it is not obtained immediately.

If you are in an accident, here are some things you can, and should do if possible, with your cell phone:


If you are able to, take pictures of everything, including:

  • damage to the vehicles
  • location of the vehicles at rest after the accident
  • the surrounding landscape or intersection
  • all skid marks
  • all debris from the impact
  • license plates of all the vehicles involved, including witnesses plates
  • the interior of the other vehicle, if possible (as it may show open alcohol, food , or an open computer or cell phone, which may indicate lack of attention from the other driver).
  • if you do not have anything to write on to get information, get pictures of the other driver’s license and insurance information
  • get names and contact information of all witnesses as well in the same manner
  • pictures of the other driver, and occupants of the other vehicle

If you are not able to take pictures at the scene, ask someone else at the scene do this for you, if possible (and get their contact information).

Or have a family member or friend attend the scene as soon as possible to get the information with their cell.


Consider getting the other drivers, and witnesses, consent to your obtaining a verbal taped statement on your cell phone, at the scene.

Ask them to tell what happened, and have them admit it was their fault. Also that you were not at fault in any way, not speeding, etc. If they change their story, your cell phone may make a difference in proving who was at fault. Knowing they recorded a statement at the scene is a powerful incentive not to change their story later.


If the other parties will not agree to a statement, email or text yourself as soon as possible their information, what they said, names, addresses, phone numbers, driver’s license, plates, insurance information.

Same for all witnesses.

Critical evidence from the vehicles and accident scene can disappear if it is not obtained immediately after the accident.

Make sure you record everything.

Your case may depend on it.

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