Auto accident victims often search the internet for “car accident attorney near me.” Finding a nearby car accident lawyer is an important step toward obtaining compensation for injuries and damage.
Another essential step should occur at the accident scene: taking photographs. Evidence showing damages, injuries, and possible causes of the wreck are all available at the crash scene. Drivers or passengers who are physically able to take pictures should thoroughly photograph the accident scene.
How do car accident pictures help victims obtain compensation?
Photos of the accident scene, property damage, and injuries document what happened. Memories are unreliable, and stress, trauma, and head injuries affect what an individual remembers about an event. When it is time to negotiate with an insurance company or prove a claim in court, pictures are harder to refute than a person’s recollections.
Without pictures, insurance claims decisions may come down to one person’s word against another’s. Photographs change that dynamic. The adage “a picture is worth 1,000 words” is absolutely true. For example, a photo of deceleration skid marks can refute a claim that the driver did not brake suddenly.
What photos should you take after a car crash?
Take as many pictures as possible. The photos should capture all possible evidence relating to the crash. Capture the scene from multiple angles and different distances. Taking all the photos on this checklist will help during an initial consultation with a nearby car accident attorney.
Crucial Car Crash Photos
- Personal injuries: in close-ups, put a coin or other familiar object near the wound to provide context for the size of the cut, scrape, or bruise.
- Point of impact: if the vehicles have not been moved, photograph the cars. If they have been moved, photograph the spot where they collided. Capture this from multiple angles and distances. Include the road behind each car in the pictures (keep the car in the photo for context). This shot can show the presence or absence of skid marks or other tire tracks. Get closer-in photos of any tire marks, while still including some point of reference. Keeping a common point or object (like a road sign) in every photo helps illustrate scale and distance.
- Vehicle damage: take photos of damage inside and outside the car from different angles and distances; try different types of lighting (with and without flash) to capture as much detail as possible; try wide-angle shots as well as close-ups.
- Weather conditions: document what the weather was like at the time of the crash. Both video and still photos can capture this. If the weather has suddenly changed, look for indicators of what the weather was like when the crash occurred. For example, even if rain has stopped, the road will be wet, and puddles may have formed.
- Area around the accident: photograph the sides of the road, nearby intersections, all road signs, construction, trees, and shrubbery—anything that can provide clues about how the accident may have occurred.
- License plates of all cars involved in the wreck.
- Nearby places and people: everyone around the accident could be a potential witness. Businesses may have security cameras that recorded the crash. Pictures of people and places can lead to gathering additional information in the future.
- Critical documents and details: photos can capture critical information like insurance cards, driver and witness contact information, police officer badge number and contact information.
Tips for Better Car Accident Pictures
Photos should capture as much detail as possible, so try different angles and lighting. If the weather is bad, protect the camera and capture as much as possible. Videos can supplement photos.
If it’s not already on, turn on the timestamp feature on the phone or camera. This documents that the photos were indeed taken immediately after the collision.
What will a car accident lawyer near me do with the photos?
Experienced car accident attorneys offer potential clients a free legal consultation. During this initial meeting, the lawyer learns about the case and assesses the likelihood of winning and the probable compensation the victim can get. Photos of the accident scene, personal injuries, and property damage can help the lawyer accurately evaluate the claims.
After a car accident attorney accepts a client, the lawyer and crash investigation experts investigate the area where the crash occurred. They will document any changes to the area since the accident. Sometimes property owners make changes that they think will help them escape liability. For example, if overgrown trees or bushes hide a yield sign and cause a crash, after the accident, the bushes may suddenly be neatly trimmed below the height of the sign.
The before and after photos help build a persuasive case. Also, if the crash scene needs to be recreated in illustrations or 3-D models, the photos will ensure an accurate representation of the site.
The sooner a crash investigation can occur, the more likely it is that useful evidence can be collected. As soon as possible after an auto accident, contact an experienced lawyer to advocate for you with the insurance companies and anyone who contributed to the crash. The seasoned car accident lawyers at Reiner, Slaughter, Mainzer & Frankel in Redding Ca. are available to talk to you today. Don’t wait to contact them.