Being involved in an auto accident can be a traumatic event. You may find your ability to think rationally clouded with adrenaline and emotion. What do you do?
There are obvious and important courses of action to take:
1. Call the police
2. Tend to the injured parties
3. Gather insurance information
Then, the most important thing is to take photos of the scene of the accident. This easily overlooked step can make a huge difference in dealing with insurance companies and lawsuits.
Here’s the Why, the How, and the What of taking photos after an accident:
- Photos can help reconstruct the cause and scene of an accident.
- Photos can help establish liability in both property damage and personal injury cases.
- Photos can help the insurance companies and a car accident lawyer Phoenix AZ relies on to build your case. They eliminate guess work and establish facts.
- Memories and verbal testimonies become fuzzy and change over time. Photos capture details that may be easily forgotten.
- DON’T rely on law enforcement to take photos on your behalf, they are doing so for their report, not for your claim.
- Use a digital camera. Most cell phones today take clear photos.
- Take too many photos. Not all photos will turn out, you want to have options.
- In focus. Take the time to make sure the shots are in focus.
- Photograph both wide shots and close-ups.
- Engage your camera’s time stamp. Or take a photo of something that indicates date and time, like a bank sign.
- Print physical copies. Keep a digital backup of all photos.
- Wide, general shots of the scene. Include all vehicles involved.
- Weather conditions. Include location of sun or moon.
- Road signs and traffic signals.
- All four corners of the vehicles
- Include the license plate in as many shots as possible.
- Interiors of the vehicles
- Close-ups of all damage
- Skid marks
- Debris, such as broken glass and detached car parts.
- All people on the scene. This includes police officers, paramedics, other drivers, passengers, and witnesses.
- Injuries. Both major and minor. Both yours and others.
- Latent injuries. Bruises and swelling might not occur until days after the accident.
Documenting and organizing photographic evidence of an auto accident can help you build a strong case and ensure that you and your loved ones are justly compensated for damages and injuries.
If you’ve been injured in an auto accident, whether you have photos or not, you may be entitled to compensation for your injuries.
Thanks to our friends and contributors from Kamper Estrada, LLP for their insight into the importance of taking photos at an accident and car accident cases.