After the trauma of an accident, taking photographs is likely to be the last thing on your mind. The most important step you will take after the accident is checking on your health and safety. After calling the police and first responders, you will begin to notice the scene around you. At the first possible moment it is safe, you will need to document the vehicles and surrounding area if you are physically able to do so. In some instances, victims of an auto accident call family members or friends who arrive at the scene quickly. These contacts can be helpful not only as support for the victim but also in documenting the scene for the injured person.
The best camera is the one that is with you
One obvious tool for taking the photographs is your cell phone. This is usually the most convenient camera at your disposal. However, there are certainly times when this is an impossibility. What would you do in a situation where your phone was lost or destroyed? If there are any witnesses, you can ask them to take the photographs for you and email them to you immediately. If not done immediately, the witness could lose the photographs. If asking a bystander is not an option, be sure to make observations as to any possible traffic cameras or security cameras at businesses. Further, you should ask the officer if they have taken photos/video or if they intend to. This will allow for the possible retrieval of that evidence later.
Document the entire scene, not just your vehicle
In addition to securing a way in which to take the photographs, it is important to document the scene as thoroughly as possible. This includes multiple photos at various angles. Many times, people will take photos but only of their own vehicle. While these are valuable, it is also imperative to photograph the entire area. This includes traffic signs and signals, any tire markings on the road, and the positioning of all vehicles involved. Another area of often forgotten evidence is the documentation of the other vehicle. Other than the necessity of being fully informed about every detail of the accident, the photographs of the other vehicle(s) may sometimes serve as proof as to the level of impact.
More and more frequently, insurance companies seek to discard the level of injury involved in a case based on the level of perceived impact shown through the photos of damage to the injured party’s vehicle. However, this can be a very misleading approach. If the other vehicle involved has visible severe damage, this can be indicative of a high impact even if your vehicle is seemingly unscathed.
Don’t forget your injuries
Most importantly, it is vital to document any physical signs of your injury. This could be a bruise, cut, or worse. This photographic evidence will serve as proof as to the severity of your injuries. Also, these photographs need to be taken at all stages of your recovery. Unfortunately, the scarring or other symptoms from an injury can be as devastating as the initial injury.
Car seats, iPads, and other items
Further, any personal property destroyed by the collision such as electronics, child car seats, etc. should be documented through photographs. These items will need to be replaced. The photos will provide proof of their involvement in the accident. It is also important to keep the receipts from the replacement of the items.
Ultimately, photographs documenting your injury and the scene of the accident can be invaluable tools for your attorney when working to get you fully compensated during this overwhelming time in your life.
Whether you have photos or not, if you have been injured in an accident through no fault of your own, contact the attorneys at Morris Bart for help. Click the “Live Help” button at the bottom of the screen or call us today at 800-537-8185