The stress resulting from a car accident can be overwhelming, and often those involved feel disorientated and are in shock. But there are few essential things to remember and do at the scene of a car accident that will help you preserve as much evidence as possible. This will help you protect your legal rights in any potential lawsuit or insurance claim resulting from a car accident. One of these things is taking pictures of the scene, vehicle damage, and other details related to the crash.
It may not always be obvious which details of an accident will become important later on, so it is best to take as many pictures as possible. If you have unlimited storage for your photos, you can sort through them later. If you don’t, take some time to think through what will be most vital to capture.
Photographs will help you, and your car accident attorney prove what happened, show damages, and prove liability to insurance adjusters, and in the instance a personal injury lawsuit is filed. Photographs and videos will help paint a picture of the accident, road, weather conditions, and the cars’ position, collision points, debris, and many other details. Not to mention help refresh your memory when things start to fade.
Let’s take a look at a few effective tips on how to take proper pictures and videos after a car accident.
General scene: Try to get an overall view of the car accident scene from many different angles. A wide-angle, covering the whole site, will be useful too.
All vehicles: First, take pictures or video of your car and the damage it sustained and its position. Take photos of all the cars involved in the accident and the damage to their vehicles. Try and get the vehicles’ relative positions to the other cars. And from as many different angles as possible.
Traffic signs: Take pictures and video of all road signs, traffic lights, yield signs, and all other traffic indicators in and around the accident scene. You want to note their location and condition.
Weather conditions: Ensure your images reflect the weather conditions, as often the weather is blamed for playing a role in the accident.
Damaged objects: Take pictures and videos of all the damage, from street signs and trees to guardrails and other items.
Damaged vehicles: Here, you want as much detail as possible; close-ups of broken glass, windows, scratches, as well as the inside of the car.
Road conditions: Is there roadside debris, skid marks, or any other signs of the accident in and around the scene? Document it.
People involved: If they allow it, take pictures and video of the other drivers, passengers, witnesses, and police officers to avoid any confusion identifying the people involved at a later stage.
Injuries: Take pictures of any visible injuries that you sustained. But ensure you don’t take photos or video of any injured people unless they have consented to this.
Angles: Try to include at least three different angles and distances for your pictures. For close-ups (1-5 feet away), medium-distance (10-15 feet away), and long-distance (20 feet away).
Landmarks: Try to include a familiar landmark in your photographs or place an object in each photo to give the picture a sense of scale.
Side note: Firstly, ensure everyone is safe and attended to before you start taking your pictures and videos. And secondly, don’t post anything on social media, especially of other people.
What About Surveillance or Traffic Video Footage of the Accident?
Video evidence could be crucial in proving your claim and convincing the other party’s insurance company that you were not at fault. Have a look around the accident scene and see if the area has any cameras on the street. It’s quite common these days for there to be video surveillance cameras around. If there is one, find out from the surrounding local businesses who the camera belongs to or if it’s an official traffic camera. It would help if you also enquired from witnesses whether anyone has dashcam footage and whether they will allow you to use it.
How To Get Hold of the Footage?
Potential traffic camera video sources include municipalities, toll road authorities, private businesses, private property owners, drivers with dashcams, and private homes with security cameras. But getting hold of the footage is not always easy. Each of these entities will have different procedures and regulations to follow when releasing the footage, and more often than not, they will require a subpoena. Here’s where your car accident attorney can help; they are able to assist you in securing this crucial evidence.
Time is limited to secure a copy of video footage, and private companies will have their own rules regarding overwriting or destroying video data. So, if you know there may be video footage of the car accident, act swiftly.
Not everyone understands how vital accident scene photography and video footage is as evidence in their car accident claims. Although a qualified attorney will help you recover car accident damages regardless of whether you have pictures and video or not, they can go a long way to make your case easier to prove.
Contact the Experts
As a client of the Law Offices of David Kohm, we want to assure you that your legal matters will be handled with the utmost discretion and privacy. Our many years of legal representation and extensive knowledge of auto accident litigation provide you with the security of knowing that we’ll handle your accident from the first time we meet until the day we achieve a final resolution or settlement. You must be made aware of your legal rights, and we will work to get the best settlement possible for you. Our focus is to help you reach a quick and financially beneficial solution to your legal matters.
Call our law offices today at any of our convenient locations and get a free consultation.
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