If you are struck by a drunk, distracted, or otherwise reckless motorist, you can seek compensation for the resulting damages. To pursue a fair recovery, you will have to build a strong car accident claim, and that starts before even leaving the scene.
Photographs of the wreckage could have a major impact on the outcome of your case. By evaluating these images, accident reconstruction experts may be able to determine what happened in the seconds leading up to the crash. Detailed photos could also provide clear evidence of the property damage and bodily injuries that were apparent in the immediate aftermath.
To ensure the photos you take will contribute to the strength of your claim, follow these tips:
1. Record the Wreckage Thoroughly
Photograph every vehicle that was involved from all angles to document the extent of the damage. Make sure to capture any interior damage, as well, like deployed airbags, broken glass, and bloodstains. If anything in the vicinity was destroyed in the impact—guardrails, curbs, telephone poles, trees, stop signs, or other traffic fixtures—document that damage, too.
2. Photograph Your Injuries
Take pictures of all the visible injuries you and your passengers sustained including bruises and lacerations. Such images will help contextualize your medical records, thereby making it harder for the defense to challenge causation or the extent of your injuries.
3. Photograph the Scene in Its Entirety
After police have arrived and started directing traffic away from the area, it should be safe for you to move around the scene. Step back from the wreckage, and take wide-angle shots as you circle the area. These photos will help investigators place each party that was involved in the correct position when piecing together what happened.
4. Get Close-up Shots
It’s fairly easy to overlook smaller details amid the chaos of a car accident; however, everything from skid marks to gasoline puddles could prove integral when it comes to demonstrating fault. After taking wide shots of the scene, walk around the wreckage once more, and shoot all the smaller details from a close distance. Where necessary, include an object like your driver’s license for reference in the photo so the size of the subject is clear.
5. Capture the Flow of Traffic
Make sure to shoot all traffic indicators near the scene including lights, signs, and painted lines. These elements could come in handy if you need to prove that the other motorist was violating the law prior to the wreck.
6. Shoot the Weather Conditions
If the sun was blinding or the pavement was slick, you’ll want to demonstrate as much in your photos. Make sure all the images you take are timestamped, as well, so there won’t be any question as to the date and time of the incident.
If the weather was perfectly clear, you’ll want to capture that, as well. Should the liable party try to blame the incident on fog or rain, pictures from the scene will make it easy to challenge such assertions.
7. Record the Other Parties That Were Involved
Photos—and even videos—of the other motorists could be helpful if you need to prove that impairment or drowsiness contributed to the wreck. If your video function has audio, you may even be able to capture a compelling admission on tape.
8. Photograph Emergency Responders
Shoot all police officers, paramedics, and firefighters who respond to the scene, as well as their respective vehicles. You should also make a note of the responding officers’ badge numbers so you can access their official report with ease after leaving the area.
9. Store Your Records Safely
Since technology isn’t 100 percent reliable, it’s important to make copies of all the photos and videos you take and save them in a safe place. In addition to storing them on your phone, for example, keep these files on an external hard drive.
For added protection, bring the drive to your first meeting with a car accident lawyer. Your legal team will make their own copies before sending the files to the appropriate parties like accident reconstruction experts.
10. Ask for Help
If you fail to photograph the scene of the accident, it could seriously hurt your chances of recovering a fair payout. As such, doing so should be a priority, no matter how hectic the aftermath may be.
If you require emergency medical care at the scene—or you’re simply too stressed out to walk around and take photos, which is perfectly understandable—call a friend or loved one, and ask him or her to come out and shoot the area for you.
If you don’t have anyone nearby who can come out right away, call a local car accident lawyer. A reputable attorney will be happy to help at a moment’s notice.
Call (562) 206-1939 for a Free Consultation with a Long Beach Car Accident Attorney
Your Injuries Are Personal to Me
If you were seriously hurt in a motor-vehicle collision through no fault of your own, you can count on the Law Office of Michael D. Waks. A top-rated trial attorney, Michael D. Waks has been representing the injured and their families for more than 30 years. Call (562) 206-1939 or fill out our Contact Form to schedule a free consultation with a car accident lawyer in Long Beach.
Download Our Car Accident Emergency Response .PDF
Nearly 6 million car accidents occur around the country every single year. That means if you drive regularly, there’s a good chance you will end up in a wreck at some point. Since it never hurts to be prepared for all eventualities, you should keep our Car Accident Emergency Response .pdf in your glovebox or center console. By doing so, you will always have a comprehensive checklist on hand for recording the scene. Download it HERE for free.
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