Why Is It so Important to Take Photos After an Auto Accident?
“Visual evidence will increase your leverage as you navigate through the car accident insurance procedure.”
Take photos of the scene of the accident for the best chance of preserving evidence of your injuries as well as any damage to your vehicle, so you can demonstrate how the accident affected you and your vehicle.
Pictures of the Auto Accident Preserve Key Evidence
Understandably, in a stressful situation like an accident, it is difficult to know what to do first. Do you call the police? Do you call insurance? Once calls are made, you might wonder what insurance to give in an accident or how serious the accident really is.
Still, regardless of who is called or whether the auto accident was a mere fender-bender or a car wreck, it is very important to take your own pictures. These pictures will provide key evidence of:
- who is at fault
- the severity of the accident and your injuries
- the damage to your vehicle
- other property damage
- the identity of the other driver and their vehicle
- the location
- other environmental factors
Broadly speaking, preserving evidence of the scene and your injuries will help establish the facts of your claim and identify witnesses. Even if the auto accident does not lead to a lawsuit, this visual evidence will increase your leverage as you navigate through the car accident insurance procedure. Ultimately, any one of these pieces of evidence will help you recover the sum you deserve for your personal injuries and property damage.
Pictures You Should Take at the Scene of the Auto Accident
Generally, when it comes to photos, the more the better. The pictures you take do not need to be professional by any means. As long as they are in focus, they will be useful in the claims process or in a lawsuit. Below is a list of pictures you should try to take at the scene of the auto accident as soon as possible.
Take photos of the damage to your vehicle and other vehicles. Be sure to take both close-ups and long shots. It is important to establish evidence of the damage before the parties leave the scene. This way, at minimum, the damage to your car will not be questioned.
Remember that damage caused to your vehicle by an auto accident can be both external and internal. Take pictures of your dashboard lights, under the hood, and under your car. If you see any debris on the road, make sure to photograph that as well.
Although skid-marks are not necessarily damage, they help determine the direction of the vehicles involved and their speed, among other details.
Also take photos of any damage to public property or the property of others, such as roadway signs, structures, buildings, lights, etc.
The Other Driver, Witnesses, and Police Officers
Create a record of who the driver was and their vehicle. Pictures that will help identify these individuals include:
- license plates
- the make and model of vehicles involved
- driver’s licenses
- insurance cards
- vehicle registration information
People at the Scene
Further, for most people, it is almost impossible to remember every detail and every face. Be sure to take pictures of those who were present at the time of the accident and first responders, including witnesses, and police officers.
Because auto accidents typically occur in public spaces, you may photograph individuals, as they do not have a reasonable expectation of privacy while in that public space. However, keep a safe distance from those you photograph.
Your Surroundings, Including Street Signs
Document your surroundings to show where the accident happened, the road conditions, the kind of road or highway, what the weather was like, and what road signs were present. Although some of these details may seem minor, they can impact your claim and even help determine liability for a car accident.
Take pictures of your injuries when they occur, but also monitor injuries such as bruises, which might worsen over time. Continue to take pictures of your injuries if they worsen over time.
Should You Give Your Pictures of the Auto Accident to Your Insurance Right Away?
No. Before providing insurance companies with the evidence you collected at the scene of the auto accident, consult with your car accident lawyer. A car accident lawyer will provide you with key advice and counsel that will protect your rights in the insurance claim process.
Why You Should Hire a Goodnow McKay Car Accident Lawyer
If you have been in a car wreck before, you know that the car accident insurance procedure is not only complicated but also often unfair. Insurance companies have an interest in reducing coverage wherever possible. This means they will typically attempt to either deny your claim or offer you a low settlement as soon as possible.
With over 1000 clients represented, our car accident lawyers at Goodnow McKay are seasoned specialists who will protect your rights and ensure you receive reasonable compensation for your claim. Because our practice represents clients on a contingency fee basis, they do not pay any fees out of pocket. Instead, our attorneys can only take a percentage of what we recover. Unlike insurance companies, our attorneys have a strong incentive to recover as much as possible for you.
Goodnow McKay lawyers represent clients in various kinds of auto accident claims, including liability/bodily injury claims, uninsured or underinsured claims, and medical payment claims. If you have been in a car accident, schedule a free case review with one of our specialists.