In the immediate aftermath of a car accident, while you are waiting for the police to arrive and to file an accident report, you are probably not thinking about taking pictures. Instead, you might be thinking about what the accident will cost you, how long it will take to heal from your injuries, or how you are going to get to work over the next week because your car is totaled. Or you may just be in shock and too confused to think about anything.
Although all of these are very valid worries – surely you want answers to questions about your vehicle repairs, medical expenses, lost wages, and injuries – taking pictures should be one of your top priorities at the scene of a crash, assuming that you are physically capable. The following reviews why taking car accident photos is so important, as well as how to take car accident photos and pictures of the scene.
The Importance of Taking Car Accident Photos
A picture is worth a thousand words, they say. And in the case of a car accident, a photo can tell more about what happened in a crash than words alone. In fact, in many cases, photos can even contradict the words of another witness or the other driver. Some important reasons to take car accident pictures include:
- Photos can provide evidence regarding fault. The position of cars after an accident, the point of impact, skid marks on the road, a shot of a stop sign, and more can all serve as evidence to prove or disprove accusations of fault. Pictures of different angles can be key in piecing together how an accident happened.
- Photos prove physical damage to vehicles. If your car has been damaged in a crash, getting it repaired may be expensive. If you do not have proof that the damages occurred during the accident for which you are filing a claim, your insurance company may deny the claim, saying that the damage was pre-existing. If you have photos, however, these can be used to prove that the damages were indeed sustained during the recent accident.
- Photos provide proof of your injuries. Photos can help prove that the injuries you are suffering from occurred during the crash. These photos can help refute any insurance company claims that the injuries were pre-existing.
- Photos help you to remember important facts. Finally, taking photos can help you to remember the things that you may forget in the chaos that follows a serious accident. For example, taking photos of witnesses can help you remember to contact them for testimony later on. And taking photos of the other driver’s license plate number can be useful when filing a claim.
Tips for Taking Car Accident Scene Photos
Now that you understand the importance of taking photos and the value that they serve when filing a car accident claim or lawsuit, it is important to understand what makes a good photo, as well as a great collection of photos that can be used as evidence. Here are some tips for how to take car accident photos:
- Get different angles. You should try to get as many angles of the accident, and of specific damages or objects, as you can. The more angles that you get, the better story the pictures will naturally construct. You may also miss a crucial piece of evidence if you attempt to take a picture of an object from a single angle. Also, take photos from different distances.
- Capture weather, time, and surroundings. Do not just take photos of the damage to your vehicle and your injuries. Get photos that show the weather, the time, the lighting, and any other surroundings. All of these things may be important to your claim. For example, rainy weather may imply that the accident would not have occurred but for poor visibility or road surface conditions. An accident that occurs during the night suggests that lighting had something to do with it. Taking pictures of surroundings is important, too. You may later realize that there was a traffic sign that the other driver failed to adhere to, or that the other vehicle left skid marks on the road.
- Take photos immediately after the crash, and later on. You should take photos of your injuries as soon as you are able. As you begin to heal, though, continue documenting your recovery. If you are unable to walk, photograph this. If you need assistance while eating, document it. This documentation can prove critical when filing your claim, as it will highlight the extent of your injuries and your limitations.
What If I Cannot Take Photos?
Sadly, many people are too seriously injured to take photos immediately after a crash. They may be unconscious, or injured to the point where moving is unsafe or impossible. When this is the case, what should be done? How can an injured person gather evidence?
The best thing that you can do is to ask a trusted loved one to take as many photos for you as possible, and to contact an experienced car accident lawyer who can gather evidence on your behalf. Evidence after a car crash can quickly deteriorate or be destroyed (for example, debris is typically removed within a matter of hours).
The sooner you contact an attorney, the sooner your attorney can travel to the accident scene and gather evidence. An attorney can also hire an accident reconstruction expert who can begin getting to the bottom of how your accident happened and who is to blame.
Contact Our Flagler and Volusia Counties Car Accident Lawyers Today
At the law offices of Chiumento Dwyer Hertel Grant, our experienced Palm Coast car accident attorneys want to help you gather the evidence you need to improve your chances of recovering maximum compensation.
In addition to gathering and organizing evidence in car crash cases, our legal team has extensive experience successfully negotiating with insurance adjusters and arguing these types of cases in court.
Contact our office now to schedule a free case consultation.
About the Author
Chiumento Dwyer Hertel Grant is one of the oldest law firms in Flagler and Volusia counties. The well-respected law firm is a full-service firm, with attorneys providing legal services to individuals, families, and businesses in Florida in a broad range of areas. Our practice areas include Elder Law, Bankruptcy Law, Family Law, Estate Planning, Business and Corporate Law, Real Estate law, Immigration Law, Criminal Law and Construction Law. The firm has offices in Palm Coast and Ormond Beach and handles both criminal and civil cases. At Chiumento Dwyer Hertel Grant, we are proud of our long-term commitment to the Flagler and Volusia County community. Our lawyers are all active community members, and many have served in multiple positions in local government and community organizations.
Please contact us at (386) 445-8900 with any questions or to schedule a consultation