Importance of Taking Pictures After a Car Accident
Taking pictures to document your car accident can help protect your rights, and it can provide important evidence to support your personal injury claim for compensation. Many injured people don’t realize the importance of documenting the scene of the accident and the damages to vehicles until it is too late.
At David Blackwell Law, we focus on providing personalized attention and high-quality legal representation. One of the most important things you can do to help us reach a great result is to get photographs early on. Here are a few key reasons that those photos can be important to your case.
Photos Provide Evidence
Perhaps the most important reason why you should take pictures is to give your attorney good, useful evidence for use in your claim. It’s true that the majority of car accident claims settle without the need for extended litigation. However, good attorneys always prepare their cases with an eye toward trial. This means hoping for a quick and fair outcome but planning as though every case will go to trial.
If a case does have to go to trial, it can be a great asset to have quality photographs of:
- The crash scene
- Signs and intersections
- Skid marks
- Vehicle positioning
- Vehicle damage (yours and the other driver’s)
- Visible injuries
These things can become powerful visual demonstrations at trial, which give jurors a real sense for what the crash was like, including the severity of the impact. Consider a few examples.
- Cases with serious injuries. If you suffered serious injuries, such as broken bones, herniated discs, or a concussion, you should expect that the insurance company’s attorneys will try to argue that the impact was not severe enough to cause the injuries. Remember that it’s not enough to simply prove you are hurt. You must prove that the accident directly caused the injuries you are claiming. Having a clear image to show the severity of the impact can help a jury understand that your injuries are related to the crash.
- Cases with disputed liability. In some cases, blame can be tough to prove. For instance, there have been cases where someone failed to stop at a four-way intersection. The at-fault driver may claim that they came to a complete stop and that you were the one who actually ran the light or stop sign. Good photos can be crucial in showing that you had the right of way or that because of the location of impact, the other driver must have been travelling fast. This would suggest they did not come to a stop.
What to Photograph and Why
So, what should you photograph? As a rule of thumb, start with the vehicles. Here are the three things you should always try to document:
- Vehicle damages. The first thing you should do is snap a few wide-angle and close-up pictures of your vehicle’s damage, as well as the other driver’s vehicle. The more, the better. This shows the nature of the crash, but it also helps to show which parts of the vehicle touched, where they collided, and the angles of the collision. This can be very helpful to medical experts, too, as it can give them a sense for how your body was affected by the crash.
- The accident scene. As stated above, try to get a few images of the intersection, stop signs, traffic lights, speed limit signs, skid marks on the pavement, or any other images from the crash scene, as these can be very helpful in reconstructing what happened.
- Your injuries. A lot of crash victims suffer physical injuries that are invisible, such as back pain, whiplash, or concussions. These require medical experts to testify. However, some injuries are very visible, like bruising or a disfigured arm due to a fracture. The power behind such images can help an insurance adjuster or jury understand the severity and pain involved.
Finally, as a recent report in Huffington Post explains, people notoriously recall more of what they see than what they simply hear. If your case goes to trial two or three years after the accident, which is common, rest assured you may have forgotten key details about the collision. Those photos can be a good tool for refreshing your memory.
Final Points About Taking Pictures
Ultimately, many people have a hard time remembering to take pictures at the scene because they are scared, injured, and worried about their vehicle. Obviously, if you are seriously hurt and require emergency medical attention, you may not be able to reasonably take photos. In these situations, if you have someone riding with you who is not as badly injured, ask them to take pictures before you are taken to the hospital. You may also ask a bystander to take photos and send them to you.
Safety is always the first priority, so never try to walk on a highway or put yourself in danger in order to get a picture. It is much wiser to hire an experienced attorney who can use a private investigator to collect such evidence. Your goal should be to get some quick pictures while the scene is fresh and before the evidence is cleaned up and removed.
Talk to a Car Accident Lawyer Now
An experienced auto accident lawyer from David Blackwell Law can help you build your case for maximum compensation. It’s often the little things that make the biggest difference in resolving a personal injury case. We vigorously defend our clients’ rights to compensation by collecting extensive evidence, making sure clients get top-quality medical treatment, and negotiating aggressively with insurance companies.
Our firm works quickly to ensure that the insurance company knows you are represented by an attorney who isn’t afraid to go to trial. Your initial consultation is free, and we never get paid unless we can obtain money for your case.
If you or a loved one has been hurt in a South Carolina car accident, please give our firm a call today to schedule a free initial consultation with an attorney. But don’t delay. There are strict time limits on seeking compensation, and if you wait too long, you could risk losing your rights entirely.