Bumps and Bruises: Report the Damage
We usually frown firmly upon the use of cell phones on the road, but this is where your phone's camera function really comes in handy. Try to document any damage to your vehicle, major or minor, from all angles while you're still on the scene of the accident. Make sure you also document any damage to others' vehicles. When you do report the accident to your insurance company, you'll need to match your verbal or written description to the photos.
It's also crucial that you report any injuries that you or anyone else sustains during the accident -- but only after they are stable and receiving medical attention. Also, don't forget property damage: If another driver's computer is sitting on their passenger seat and gets smashed when you hit their car, your insurance company needs to know about it [source: California DMV].
Just like the play-by-play of the accident, this is another area where objectivity is key: Not only does your insurance company need to know exactly what they might be paying for, but your claim will also look a lot more credible if you don't inflate the dent on your fender into a gaping chasm across the front of your car.
So we've got the where, when and what covered -- but what about the who? Read on to find out what details you should collect from the other person in an accident.