Being shy about taking pictures after a car accident could hurt your chances of recovering full compensation for your damages. Taking pictures or making videos of the accident scene may make you feel a little uncomfortable, especially if everyone is staring at you or even glaring at you. However, you need to protect your legal rights, and one way to do that is to preserve the accident scene as it was at the time of the crash.
Don’t be shy. If it is safe for you to do so and you can do so without causing yourself further injury, take as many pictures of the scene as possible. Having accident scene photographs can make a difference when it is time to settle your injury claim or argue the case before a jury. If you are unable to take photographs, you should try to ask a friend or relative to take the pictures for you.
Why Are Videos and Photographs of a Car Accident Scene Important?
There are several reasons why it is a good idea to document the scene of a car accident because photographs can:
- Document the property damage and injuries caused by the collision;
- Show the position of the vehicles upon impact;
- Document any contributing factors that may have caused the crash such as overgrown trees or potholes;
- Show the placement of traffic signs and signals;
- Help prove fault for an injury claim; and,
- Help you remember details about the accident that you may have forgotten.
Memories fade with time, and the shock of the crash can make it difficult to notice small details. Photographs are a way to document the scene so that nothing is missed.
How to Take Photographs of the Accident Scene
It is important to know what to include when you take pictures at a car accident scene. If possible, include the following items in your pictures and videos of the scene:
- Property Damage — You need to capture the extent of property damage, both internal and external damage to your vehicle. Try to take as many pictures of the other vehicles too.
- Physical Evidence — If you notice skid marks, damage to roadside items, or other evidence of the crash, take pictures of these items from several angles. This also includes road signs and traffic signals.
- Shrubbery and Trees — At times, roadside foliage can block sightlines and contribute to an accident.
- People — It can be difficult to remember the people who were at the accident scene, so do not forget to include people in your photographs.
- Vehicle Identification — In addition to the damage, take pictures of the license plate, make, and model of vehicle.
- Injuries — Take photographs of your injuries right after the accident and throughout your recovery.
It is always best to take more photographs than you think you may need. Also, it is best to photograph the surrounding scene so that the element of the area surrounding the accident can help put the accident into context. Lastly, make sure that the time and date stamp is correct for the photographs and videos.
Contact an Erie Car Accident Lawyer to Help You File an Injury Claim
Fighting an insurance company can be difficult. Insurance agents are trained professionals who are protecting the best interests of the insurance company. You need an experienced and trained legal professional to do the same for you.