In the chaos of a car accident, documenting the accident may not be something
you think of. It is an important step in the aftermath of an accident,
however, as pictures can be used to help assign liability in the accident,
document damage, and show the surroundings that could contribute to an accident.
You should always make sure that no one is injured first, or call emergency
medical services for those that are. But after injuries have been attended
to, it is important to document the scene for your claim. Photographic
evidence can help prove to insurance companies that the other party involved
was negligent. Quality matters when taking these photographs, so use a
camera that provides clear images.
What Shots to Take
Rather than randomly photographing anything and everything at the scene,
plan which shots you will need to most effectively tell your story. When
shooting, make sure that the time and date are stamped on the pictures,
and that it is correct. Here are some shots to get:
General pictures of the scene. Take wide shots from several angles around the scene. Establish the location
of the vehicles in reference to each other. Include photos of any important
objects, such as an intersection or traffic signs.
Weather conditions. Document rain, fog, clouds, snow or other weather that contributed to
the accident. The other driver may claim that inclement weather caused
the accident, but if the photographs can prove otherwise, you can fight
Close-ups of damage. Take many close-ups of your car’s damage. Be sure to include shots
that have your license plate in the shot. Include shots of the other car,
even if it is only to preserve details such as the make, model, and license
plates of the vehicle.
Participants. If they are willing, try to collect pictures of participants. This includes
witnesses, police officers, passengers, and the other driver at the scene.
These pictures can help you connect faces with names and statements.
Injuries. Photograph your own injuries, and if permitted, the injuries of the others involved.
You cannot force unwilling individuals to allow photographs. If they permit
pictures, do take them. If there has been a fatality, refrain from photographing
it. The police and coroner will provide photographs of the body in court.
Take as many pictures as you can, and be sure to include multiple angles
of each shot. Small details can be missed if only a single image exists
to show them. Timing is also important. The sooner you are able to take
pictures, the better. If you are injured, ask someone to take the pictures
for you, or return to the scene later to photograph what you still can.
Why Take Photographs of the Scene?
Photos of the scene can be used to show proof of the cause of the accident,
what may have contributed to the accident, and the extent of property
damage and injuries that were sustained in the accident. The details photos
provide can be relevant as well. Pictures of traffic signs, the road,
and those present can help jog your memory of the events.
When negotiating with insurance adjusters, pictures can be used to prove
damage. They also can be used to substantiate your claims regarding the
severity of your injuries, as well as the fault of the other party. These
photographs can help you build a successful claim, and receive the compensation
you are entitled to.
If you’ve been in an auto accident, you need an experienced Atlanta
car accident lawyer to help you build your claim. Our team is dedicated
to providing you with top-notch client service, and we put your interests
first. Goldstein & Hayes, P.C. has over 60 years of combined legal
experience to offer, and we will prepare meticulously for your case. Contact
our firm today to schedule a free case evaluation.