If you are involved in an accident in Alabama, it is important that you document any damage. By damage this means both your car and the car of the other party involved in the accident. The best way to do this, considering you are okay after a crash, is to get out of your car and take pictures with your cell phone/smart phone. If you are unable to get out of the car but have another person in your car that was not injured in the crash, you should definitely encourage them to take pictures upon your behalf. Taking pictures is the best way to document an accident and may strengthen your case. Here are 4 reasons why taking photographs after an accident in Alabama is important.
1. Spotlight on Exterior Damage
Photographs highlight any exterior damage to all vehicles involved in the accident. If you are involved in an accident you should take pictures all around the perimeter of your car as well as the other parties’ car. You should also take pictures of any landmarks near where the crash happened so exterior viewers, ex. Insurance adjusters; lawyers can orient themselves as to where this crash took place. Last but not least be sure to take a picture of the scenery, was the weather inclement which attributed to your accident?
2. Help Make an Insurance Claim for Settlement
Pictures will help you make a claim with your insurance company and receive a settlement. When reporting an accident to your insurance company be sure to submit photos and any other documentation you may have regarding the accident such as a police report. Then the insurance adjuster will contact you to process your claim.
3. Help Prove Your Case
Photos may help you prove your case when filling out the SR-13 form. Alabama requires anyone that has been in an accident with total injuries and property damage of over $250 to fill out this form. As they say, a picture is worth a thousand words!
4. Try to Get a Better Fair Market Value for Your Vehicle
Photos may help you get a better fair market value for your vehicle if it declared a total loss. According to DMV.org, “Your car is considered a total loss if the amount of damage is more than the total value of the car. When a total loss occurs, insurance will cover only the fair market value or actual cash value (ACV) of your car. In order to ensure you get a fair settlement: Check the Kelly Blue Book for the fair market value of your car’s make, model, and year. Provide any recent photos of your vehicle (interior and exterior) if you have any. Make a list of any repairs and maintenance that you’ve had in the recent past.”
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