Baltimore auto accident lawyers

How the Google Personal Safety App Will Help Maryland Car Crash Victims

An advertisement from Google focuses on an app that allows your phone to recognize when you’ve been in a crash and get you the help you need right away.  However, it isn’t necessarily clear from this commercial how the app works or who it’s available to.

Google’s Personal Safety App for Pixel phones has a few different features that could make it very important to car crash victims in Maryland.  the app is pretty simple to set up and just requires a few clicks to use.  Once set up, it can be set to recognize when you’ve been in a car accident using your phone’s sensors.  it will then ask you if you want to call 911, and if you don’t answer, it will call for you and try to give them your location information to get you help.  There are some other important facts to know about how to set up this app, what phones it is available on, and how the information in the app can help with your car accident injury case.

If you were involved in a car accident, the Maryland car accident lawyers at Rice, Murtha & Psoras may be able to help.  Contact us today to set up a free legal consultation.  Our phone number is (410) 694-7291.

How Can You Get the Google Personal Safety App for Car Accidents?

Google Support lists a lot of information about the Personal Safety app, including how to get it on your phone.  First, it is important to understand that this app is available on many phones using Android 10 or higher, but many of the features are restricted to Google Pixel 3 phones (and newer Google Pixel phones).  It’s possible these features could be expanded to other phones later, but as of the writing of this article, only Google Pixel phones can use the crash detection.

If you have a compatible phone, the app should be downloaded to your phone automatically as part of standard updates.  If it wasn’t, you should be able to find it in the Google Play Store.  There, you can check if your phone already has the app or if your phone is compatible.  the Play Store also has a note that you may already have the app, but the icon could be hidden.  Try searching your phone to see if you have it already (it may also appear as “Safety” instead of “Personal Safety”).

This one app has multiple functions, including warning about earthquakes or putting your emergency contact info, medical conditions, and blood type on your phone’s lock screen.  However, the car accident features are, again, only available on Pixel 3 and later phones.

How Does the Google Personal Safety App Get Help After a Car Accident?

To enable the emergency features of the Personal Safety app, you have to first set up the app.  Open the app on your phone, sign in, navigate to Settings, and follow the steps to turn on “Car crash detection” (listed under “Detection & Alerts”).

Setting Up the App

To properly turn on these settings, your phone will need to have location services and emergency sharing features turned on.  This helps your phone figure out things like speed and location – which it uses to help detect if you’ve been involved in a crash.  For instance, if it notices a sudden stop at highway speeds, then no further movement, your phone might think you were in an accident and activate the emergency response features.

Notifying 911 of a Crash

When your phone thinks you were involved in a car crash, it will pop up with an alert that says, “Car crash detected” at the top of your screen and gives you two options: “I’m OK” or “911.”  You can respond by pressing the appropriate button (the “911” button needs to be pushed twice) or using voice commands: say “Cancel” or “Emergency.”

If you ask your phone to call 911, it will provide you with your current location information and call 911 on speaker.  If you don’t answer within 60 seconds, the app will assume you’re in trouble and call 911 for you.  it will then plan an automated message to the 911 dispatchers saying that you’ve been involved in an accident and that you’re unresponsive.  it will then give the dispatcher your location information and repeat the message (just in case there were any connection problems or the dispatcher needs the location repeated).

The location information will include the address, as close as your phone can determine it (which may just be the street or highway name).  To be more precise, Google will also provide a “plus code” – a code used by Google Maps and other apps to determine a precise location.

There is also an option on the screen to “Message the operator” if you can’t speak.

How Can Google’s Car Crash App Help My Case in Maryland?

One of the biggest ways this app can help you with your potential car accident lawsuit is by getting you the help you need right away.  Your phone’s location data can be sent to 911 dispatch so they know exactly where to find you, and ambulances and police can be sent to respond right away.  This allows ambulances to treat you and create a record of your injuries, and it lets the police open a police report for your crash immediately.

Your phone’s location data can also help your lawyer figure out where the crash took place so they can collect pictures or other evidence at the scene of the accident.  Much of the information on your phone and in a police report might not be admissible at trial, but it can still help your Baltimore car accident lawyer build your case.  Talk to an attorney about how else the app might help you after your crash.

Call Our Maryland Car Accident Attorney Today

If you were involved in a car accident in Maryland – whether or not you had the Personal Safety app – contact Rice, Murtha & Psoras for help with your case.  To set up a free case consultation with our Ocean City car accident injury attorneys, call (410) 694-7291 today.