Car accidents are common. They are a part of life, from minor fender benders in the grocery store parking lot to multi-car pile ups on the interstate.
If you are involved in an accident, taking photos of the scene can be invaluable if you plan to file an insurance claim. However, not all photos are created equal.
At Fetterman Law, we want to ensure you capture the best photos to increase the odds of a successful lawsuit. Here, you can find some tips and tricks to help you get the photos that matter after a car accident.
Reasons to Take Photos at an Accident Scene
Before diving into the tips for taking accident scene photos, knowing why these are so important is important. The photos you take capture important evidence, which can be used for accident reconstruction and show vehicle damage.
The pictures you take can also capture things like street conditions, traffic sign location, vehicle damage, and property damage, which can also be important evidence after an accident.
When you take these photos, our attorneys can use the photos to determine the cause of the accident and other factors that led to the crash. We can also use them to determine the damages that occurred.
Now that you know why they are so important, we will dive into helpful tips to get the best pictures.
How to Capture Quality Accident Scene Photos
Here are our best tips for capturing accident scene photos:.
Take Photos Immediately After the Accident
Deciding what to do after an auto accident can be stressful. However, capturing the scene as soon as possible after the collision occurs is always important. Things to document include vehicle positions and road conditions. It is smart to start taking photos even before the police arrive.
Remember that while the pictures are important, your safety and health are a priority. Only take these photos if you can safely and make sure you seek medical treatment for injuries.
If you are injured or just overwhelmed by the accident, ask someone to do this for you.
Take Photos at Different Angles
The photos you take at the accident scene need to summarize what happened. Capture pictures from different perspectives to get the full picture.
Try to capture close-up pictures of scratches and dents to show the damage your vehicle sustained. You should also step back a few feet and walk around the scene to get pictures from every side.
Document All the Details
The photos you take at the accident scene are used as evidence. All the evidence is lost when the tow truck takes your vehicle away.
Make sure you photograph all the details before they disappear. Take photos of things like:
- Leaking fluids
- Busted tires
- Deployed airbags
- Broken windows
If you can, open the hood and document engine damage. While some details may seem unimportant, they can be beneficial when filing an insurance claim or lawsuit against the at-fault party.
Take Pictures With and Without Flash
Lighting can impact the quality and detail of your pictures. Try taking pictures with and without your flash turned on.
If something appears distorted or unclear, having another photo with different lighting may be beneficial.
Take Pictures of the Surrounding Area
Your car accident does not occur in a vacuum. Because of this, you must take photos of the nearby area. Try to capture pictures of anything that may have played a role in the accident. Examples include weather conditions, road debris, traffic signs, broken glass, and skid marks. This evidence can provide a better idea of why your accident occurred.
If skid marks are present, it provides clues about sliding, braking, and speed. Traffic lights and brakes can explain what happened and who had the right of way. If inclement weather conditions were present during your accident, it might show a lack of visibility that contributed to the accident.
Pictures of Your Injuries
Bruises fade, and wounds heal. Sometimes faster than you realize. Be sure to take pictures of any injuries you sustained after the accident.
If you cannot do this yourself, ask someone to do it for you.
If you have injuries that are not visible, keep track of your medical records and test results, like MRIs and X-rays.
Our West Palm Beach Accident Attorneys Can Help You with Your Case
Contact our legal team at Fetterman Law if you are involved in an auto accident. We can help you with your legal claim and ensure you get the compensation you deserve.
The photos you capture directly after an auto accident can be invaluable in your case.