Any kind of car accident can be a traumatic and overwhelming experience. You, or a loved one, may have been seriously injured. Your car or truck may be totaled. You immediately begin worrying about a thousand things – repair costs, medical bills, missing work, insurance rates, and so on. It is very hard for anyone to think clearly immediately after a car accident.
However, it is extremely important to document the scene of an auto accident as soon as possible. Photographic and video evidence can be an invaluable tool in helping you recover the compensation you deserve for another driver’s negligence. If you are unable to do it, ask a friend or someone else at the scene to do it for you. Law enforcement officials called to a car accident typically will take some photos, but they may not be as thorough as you would be yourself.
Eyewitness recollection of auto accident events is notoriously unreliable, especially in a court room and subject to cross examination by an insurance company’s attorney. Having photos and video could be the difference between winning and losing your case. Strong and compelling pictures of an auto or truck accident can also push a settlement offer higher because the other side knows that many times ‘a picture is worth a thousand words’ in a personal injury trial. An experienced car accident attorney can help you get what you deserve.
Tips for taking Photos & Video of a Car Accident Scene
1. Take a lot of pictures. You can’t have too many. You can take hundreds of pictures on just about any phone these days. Do it. You never know what may be important down the road. Take photos of the cars involved – front, back, and sideways. Take photos of the road – skid marks (or lack of), debris, potholes, street signs, etc. Take photos of the sky because weather conditions are also important. Take photos of the license plates, the tires, and even inside of the cars involved if you can. Take photos of the other drivers, the people that stop to help, and the officers that work the scene. Take pictures of everything you can.
2. Take photos from different angles. And when you are taking all these photos make sure you keep moving around and getting the same photo from different angles. Get close ups and get wide panoramic views. Make sure the time/date stamp is activated on your phone or camera or take a picture of something that has the time and date in it, like another cell phone.
3. Take pictures of yourself – and keep doing it. Don’t forget yourself and anyone else involved in the accident. You may need to get some help doing this. If you are unable, ask law enforcement or a witness. Even if you don’t have any visible injuries at the scene, take photos of your face, body, arms and legs. Sometimes bruising doesn’t appear for hours or days. Keep taking photos of yourself as you attend doctor appointments, physical therapy and other treatment to show how your injuries are affecting you over time. Have a friend video you talking about your injuries and how they have affected your daily routine and quality of life throughout your recovery process.