After a car accident, one of the most important steps to take is collecting evidence to support your accident claim or personal injury lawsuit. Although cell phones can be a serious distraction for drivers while on the road, their cameras are an effective tool for documenting the scene following a collision.
Whether the insurance adjuster believes you are the one at fault or doesn’t think your injuries are serious enough, pictures can provide clear and irrefutable proof of personal injuries, property damage, and how the accident unfolded. Furthermore, it can help you refresh your memory and reconstruct the accident since the trauma from the crash commonly causes victims to overlook important details.
Before you take a photo after a collision, the first thing you must do is ensure everyone involved is safe and unharmed. If there are any injuries, contact the police and obtain immediate medical attention. Additionally, have another person take pictures of the accident scene for you or call your lawyer to do so.
If you are able to take pictures while waiting for law enforcement to arrive, here are some tips you should keep in mind:
- Take pictures of all damages and injuries – Take pictures of all of the vehicles involved in the crash. In addition to snapping photos of the exterior damage, also capture the interior since it is possible that property (i.e. laptop, jewelry, even a brand new TV) inside the vehicle suffered damage as well. Also, take pictures of all of the injuries involved. Do not forget to take photos throughout the recovery process to show the full extent of your injuries.
- Capture the entire scene – Having a photo of the accident, the location of the vehicles involved, and the surrounding area can help piece together how the collision occurred. Along with capturing the entire scene in one shot, take pictures of the weather and road conditions, the position of traffic lights and stop signs, the homes or businesses along the road, the skid marks on the road.
- Obtain the other driver(s)’s information – Rather than use a pen and paper, you take a picture of the other driver’s license, license plates, insurance information, and car registration. Make sure the photos are clear and you can read the texts.
- Use flash – If it’s the evening or close to it, make sure the flash feature is on when taking pictures.
- Capture different angles – Instead of snapping a picture of one thing and then moving on to the next, take multiple photos of the same thing but at different angles each time. Include close-ups and wide-angle photos.
- Take as many photos as possible – No matter how much storage you have on your smartphone, you can never have enough photos/evidence from the accident. You never know which ones could be the most beneficial to your case.
Having photographic evidence of your car accident can make filing an insurance or personal injury claim much easier. Such photos can provide credibility to your claim that is difficult to dispute.