How can smartphones help with accident claims?

Taking photo of damaged car with smartphone

The invention of the smartphone has been said to have changed day-to-day human behaviour even more than the creation of the internet itself. 

People now have access to the worldwide web, their friends and family and often their work on their smartphone devices, which are easily portable in the handbag or pocket. 

Another significant feature of smartphones is that they generally have high quality camera and video features which means that anybody carrying a smartphone is a potential “camera man” capable of making a photographic or video record of events. 

In court cases, evidence is key in accident claims

In the context of litigation and court cases, what can and cannot be proved in evidence is often at the heart of any dispute. 

Cases frequently proceed on the basis of individual’s memories of events, which can be inaccurate and will fade over time.

There can often be disputes between the sides as to important facts, and Courts can sometimes have the difficult job of trying to choose between two different accounts of the same event.

Occasionally it may be impossible for a Court to do this where both versions of events sound plausible and there is no reason to suspect that one side is telling a pork pie.

Smartphones to collect evidence at scene of accident

This is where the smartphone can be of some assistance. 

Our advice to people involved in accidents is that if they carry a smartphone, they should attempt to safely record any relevant details on these devices, as they may prove to be extremely useful in the event that there is later a dispute on the essential facts.

How can smartphones help with road traffic accident claims?

In the context of road traffic accidents, this could entail photographing the number plates of the vehicles involved.

It might also be useful to photograph any damage to the vehicles involved, as this can provide evidence in support of how the collision occurred. 

It can also be useful to take an overview photograph of the locus – the area where the accident occurred -  if this is possible, although people should always be mindful of traffic when moving around as pedestrians on roads.

How can smartphones help in accident at work claims?

In the context of accidents at work, care should be taken as sometimes employers have a “no photographs” policy.

Obviously, individuals will need to exercise their own discretion about whether it is more important to them to document the circumstances in which they sustained injury, or adhere to company policy. Likely this will depend on the seriousness of the injury they have sustained.

In summary, the smartphone can be an extremely useful piece of equipment to assist in evidence gathering. People involved in accidents should be mindful of the possibility of disputes on the facts arising, and if possible, try to gather some evidence themselves to corroborate their version of events.

How can smartphones help in tripping accident claims?

In the context of tripping accident claims, a photograph of the defect is ideal to help with these type of claims.

For example, a picture of the pothole or the lip of a protruding paving slab, together with something positioned against the defect to give it some scale (for example a 50p piece).

This is critical evidence in these types of cases and essential if the pursuer’s personal injury solicitors are to be able to say that the defect is sufficiently serious for a Council or property owner to have required to have it fixed.

Successful accident claims

To find examples of previous successful cases, please visit our case studies.

If you would like to speak to someone to discuss an accident claim, please fill in our online enquiry form or call us on the number below to speak to a member of the Legal Enquiry Team.

Sam Cowie
Personal injury solicitor
Digby Brown Inverness