After a car accident, it is important to obtain as much evidence as you can in relation to what caused the accident and what the effects were. This information can help you later if you decide to file an insurance claim or litigate the case in court.
Since most people carry camera-equipped cell phones with them at all times, it is often fairly easy to use them to document the scene with photographs. Taking pictures of an accident scene is not always possible, but if you can accomplish it safety, it is a very good idea.
When To Take Pictures of an Accident Scene
It is best to start taking pictures of an accident scene as soon as possible after the collision to get an accurate representation of the conditions under which the accident took place, as well as the resulting damage. However, there are other priorities that may come first, such as assessing for injuries, summoning emergency services to the scene, and exchanging information with the other driver. In addition, sometimes conditions may make it hazardous to take photos of the scene. If you cannot take the pictures safely, do not attempt to do so at all.
Why Taking Pictures Is a Good Idea
Even assuming that both you and the other driver are making a conscientious effort to give an accurate account of the accident, your report may be colored by your own perception and you may fail to give an accurate description despite your best intentions. Photographs are objective, with no inherent bias and no potential for human error.
Additionally, in the adrenaline-pumping aftermath of a crash, your conscious mind may not register all the relevant details or recognize their importance. A photograph can record even the most minute detail and reveal it when needed later.
What To Take Pictures Of
You want to document the scene as thoroughly as possible, but you don’t want to waste time taking pictures that aren’t necessary. Here are some suggestions about what to focus on:
- Damage to Vehicles: Document any interior and exterior damage, and take shots from close up and far away.
- License Plates: Take photos of all vehicles’ license plates, as well as the VIN identification, if possible
- Insurance Information: Take photos of the other driver’s documents
- Road Conditions: This includes wetness, debris, and brake marks.
- Surrounding Area: Look particularly for identifying information or landmarks that show where the accident took place.
- Injuries: As your body heals, the appearance of your injury will change, so it is important to take pictures as soon as possible after the accident to show what the injury looked like initially.
Once you have thoroughly documented the scene, an attorney may be able to advise you on whether or not you have a case. For more information, contact a law office.