According to collected road safety facts, roughly 4.4 million severely injured car accident victims require medical attention, while over 38,000 die in road crashes each year in the U.S. With so many accidents come so many personal injury claims where victims don’t get the compensation they deserve.
As a car accident victim, preserving evidence is critical in helping to eliminate disputes about fault or raising doubts by insurers. Having proof of damages is how car accident lawyers can help victims earn their fair settlements. And knowing how to take good photos after your car accident is vital to ensuring a positive outcome.
Essential Tips to Consider When Taking Car Accident Photos
Knowing the kind of shots to take after a car accident or what you should include in the photos can go a long way in making the images more useful and relevant. Here is what you should consider when capturing your photos.
Capture the Entire Accident Scene
Take a few steps back from the accident scene, then take repeated still shots while also turning slowly to ensure that you capture the entire crash area. Also, take many individual photos from different angles to cover the whole proximity of the scene. The more pictures you take, the higher the chances of having useful ones that you can use in your claim.
Also, don’t stop to check those that you’ve already taken because you only have a short period to document your evidence. This is because police officers respond to accident scenes quickly to clear the area for the safety of the crash victims and for traffic to flow freely.
Take Photos of the Surrounding Area
Note that car crashes don’t happen in a vacuum, so it’s crucial to document all the surrounding areas, especially something that played a part in the collision. These can include traffic signs, broken glass, skid marks, weather conditions, or road debris. Such elements can help paint a clearer picture of why the car crash happened and support your insurance claim.
For instance, traffic lights can explain which driver had the right of way or what went wrong. If the photos show inclement weather conditions, they can prove a driver’s lack of visibility. Skid marks can also offer clues about braking, sliding, or speeding.
Photograph Your Injuries
After a car accident, one of the most important things is to take pictures of your injuries. Make sure you take these photos as soon as possible and in the days following the crash. Some injuries, such as bruises, will only appear after some hours.
In cases where injuries aren’t visible, such as whiplash, ensure that you keep all the medical tests and documents like MRIs and X-rays. Although taking pictures in a hospital bed, such as bruising, swelling, or stitches, can be compelling, the insurance company will not want such graphic injuries to end up in court. Therefore, you will be in a much better position to negotiate fair compensation.
Take Photos of the Property Damage
Note that property damage includes the external and internal damages of any car involved in the crash, roadway damage, building damages, and more. Also, get close-ups of your car’s damages and frame the shots to include essential details such as the license plate whenever possible.
You should make sure you are close to the other vehicles when taking photos to ensure that you have detailed evidence. For instance, photograph any paint transferred to the other car at the point of contact. Don’t forget to capture the other car’s license plate.
Also, assess the accident scene for any debris that came off the cars due to the crash impact. Capture images of the broken glass and other damaged parts from close and wide angles. This will help to identify which vehicle the broken parts came from.
Get Images of the People at the Scene of the Accident
If you have permission, get photos of the witnesses so that you can remember them just in case you’ll need to talk to them later. Besides, your car accident attorney might want a witness who can testify about the accident.
You should also take photos of the police, rescue workers, emergency medical services, and fire trucks. Also, include photos of the other driver and the passengers. In case the other driver was intoxicated, you will have compelling evidence.
What If I Am Unable to Take the Photos After the Car Crash?
If an accident results in catastrophic injuries, you might be unable to take photos of the scene. In this case, get a family member or a friend to take the pictures. In case you can reach someone to help you take the photos on your behalf, you can rely on photos of the injuries you sustained, your car damages, or even skid marks that can be captured later.
However, it’s always preferable to immediately take pictures at the car accident scene.
What Happens When I Don’t Take Photos After an Accident?
Failure to take photos at the accident scene gives room for the at-fault driver’s insurance company to dispute who is responsible for the accident and how the crash happened. For instance, you will find it hard to prove that the other driver slammed on the brakes, since you don’t have images showing skid marks. Also, insurance adjusters can infer your case as a lack of documented injuries.
Reach Out to Pacific West Injury Law for a Free Case Review
At Pacific West Injury Law, we know how awful car accidents can be for you and your loved ones. Our car accident lawyers have extensive experience helping car crash victims get their legal rights and recover the proper compensation for medical costs, property damages, pain and suffering, and lost wages.
Even better, we know all the ins and outs of denying and approving claims as well as dealing with insurance companies. Once you give us an overview of the accident and the photos you managed to take on the scene, our team will handle all the legal aspects as you focus on healing. Contact our legal team today for a free consultation.