After being involved in an auto accident, one of the most important things you can do is take pictures of the vehicle, scene, and injuries. Photos can be a great source of evidence when making a personal injury claim and can be used to help determine who is truly at fault. Pictures are not easily subject to interpretation, can help eliminate doubt, and can depict an accident scene more accurately than someone’s memories.
Auto accidents can be very traumatic and the most important thing is to ensure everyone’s safety. If necessary, you or someone should call 911 right away to report any injuries and the accident. It is only after everyone is safe and after the proper authorities have been notified that you should begin to take pictures. A good time to take pictures might be while you are waiting for the police to arrive. Soon after the police arrive, they will clear the scene to make it safe and to allow for traffic to resume its normal flow. You might need to act quickly to get shots of the scene exactly as it was before the scene is cleared.
Digital cameras are best for taking pictures and remember to make sure the time stamp function is on. If a digital camera is not available, cell phone cameras are improving with each new model of phone that comes out and pictures on your cell phone should work fine. There is no such thing as taking too many pictures at the scene of the accident. The more you take, the more likely you will be to have great pictures that capture important details.
Start by taking general photos of the scene using wide shots and many different angles. This can help set the scene for more detailed photos. Take lots of photos of the cars involved in the accident and try to include shots that help portray the proximity of the vehicles. Get close ups of the damage to your vehicle from many different angles and do the same for other vehicles involved in the accident. Include several photos of any injuries experienced by you, passengers, the other driver(s), or bystanders. Don’t be afraid to take pictures of all participants, whether they are injured or not, and the dispatched police officers and paramedics.
Make sure to take photos of traffic lights and signs as these can help determine fault. See if there are any skid marks or broken glass from the vehicles involved that you can photograph. Take photos of the current weather conditions. Was there any rain or snow on the ground? What was the position of the sun or how dark was it?
Having such photographs will strengthen your claim and when combined with the help of an experienced accident attorney, you are sure to receive the compensation you deserve.