When documenting a car accident, photos are key
A car accident is not an everyday occurrence (thank goodness), so many drivers might feel confused about how to document the facts of the event. When documenting a car accident, photographs can help officials better understand what happened during the crash.
Even if the accident seems minor, such as a fender bender with no injuries, photos can help establish the pertinent facts of the events. While you might assume you will remember the details, stress and adrenaline can prevent you from noticing and/or remembering everything days or weeks later.
We have put together a brief video explaining how to document the scene of an accident. These materials will help you later on in discussions with police, your insurance company and/or your lawyer, if you need one:
In short the items you should photograph after an accident include:
Photograph any damage to your vehicle and the other vehicles involved in the crash. Take photos of even minor dents or scratches.
The scene of the accident
Photograph the entire scene. Ideally, your images should clearly show the position of each car and the surrounding area. Paint a picture of the location:
- Is it a country dirt road?
- Busy city intersection?
- A highway construction zone?
- Suburban school zone?
- Turn lane? Yield zone? Merge lane?
Think about portraying a visual story about the area, and the accident, to someone who has never driven this road before.
Any surrounding details
Take shots of anything in the area that could have had an impact on the crash. Look around for:
- Street signs (and whether they are visible or blocked in some way)
- Road damage or construction
- Missing lane lines
- Signs of heavy traffic, cyclists or pedestrians
- Snow, ice or rain
Injuries sustained at the scene
If you have obvious injuries from the crash, call the police and seek medical attention. In addition, take photos of each injury to the best of your ability. It’s better to have more evidence than you need, so take shots of even minor scratches or bruises.
Injuries that present later on
In the days and weeks following the accident, document any visible changes to your injuries. If new bruises appear or injuries worsen, photograph them as best you can. In addition, keep a written log of your post-accident injuries, whether visible or not.
Many drivers now also install dashboard cameras. They don’t cost much and are well worth the investment. If you do have a dashboard camera, be sure to save the accident footage immediately. This footage is often admissible in a court setting, and it can help eliminate the “he said, she said” accounts of the event.
If you have been involved in an accident and anyone is disputing the facts of events, contact us. We offer a free consultation to new clients, and we can help you determine if you have a case.