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 the claim.
- 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 & Lina, LLC has over 75 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.