Should I Take Photos Immediately Following A Car Accident?

Being involved in a motor vehicle accident may be a frightening experience. It’s natural for a person to feel disoriented in the immediate aftermath of a collision.

However, it’s also important for a motor vehicle accident victim to remember that, depending on the nature of their accident, they may be eligible for financial compensation. If you’re ever involved in an accident, particularly one resulting from another party’s negligence, you could file an insurance claim to seek compensation for your medical bills, lost wages, and related losses.

Your odds of securing the compensation for which you may be eligible will typically be greater if you take the right steps immediately following your accident.

For example, taking photos of the accident scene and your injuries could help you gather evidence that may play a vital role in your case. The following overview explains why taking photos after an accident is a wise idea, and it offers tips for taking pictures to ensure you thoroughly document all relevant conditions and factors.

The Importance of Taking Photos After a Motor Vehicle Collision

Before reading any further, understand that your personal safety is always what’s most important in the aftermath of an accident. If you’re unable to take photos yourself due to injury, don’t attempt to do so. Instead, ask a friend or family member if they can arrive at the scene to take photos. The police officer investigating the accident might also take pictures for their files.

That said, if you are able to take pictures immediately following your accident, doing so is wise for the following reasons:

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  • Pictures are objective: It’s not uncommon for the negligent party responsible for causing an accident to claim the collision wasn’t their fault. Their insurer might also attempt to argue they weren’t negligent in order to avoid paying a victim. Because different parties might have different stories regarding how an accident occurred, having objective evidence in the form of pictures is essential.
  • Memory is faulty: Your memory of certain details about the accident and its aftermath can grow hazy over time. Taking photographs allows you to preserve key details that you might otherwise forget.
  • Photographs help lawyers: If you plan on filing a claim or lawsuit to seek compensation after an accident, your chances of securing the full amount of compensation for which you may be eligible could be greater if you hire an attorney to represent you. Hard evidence such as photos could help an attorney build a strong case on your behalf.

These are just some of the reasons taking pictures after an accident is smart. Luckily, in the age of smartphones, photographing an accident scene is easier than ever.

Taking Photos After a Car Accident: Tips to Keep in Mind

Merely snapping random shots after a collision isn’t a guarantee that you’ll end up with the types of photos that genuinely strengthen your case. When taking photos after an accident, try to keep the following tips in mind:

  • Get the entire perimeter of the accident scene: Taking photos from multiple angles is key to gathering thorough photographic evidence of your accident. Without putting yourself in any danger, try to take photos from as many angles as you can to cover the entire perimeter of the accident.
  • Photograph important details: Thanks to smartphone cameras, it’s no longer necessary for accident victims to write down such information as license plate numbers, driver’s license details, etc. Instead, you can photograph the license plate, driver’s license, and insurance information of the other drivers involved in the accident. As soon as you take these photos, consider emailing them to yourself or backing up your files in the cloud to avoid losing them.
  • Don’t overlook the interior: A common mistake some make when taking pictures in the aftermath of car accidents involves focusing exclusively on the exteriors of the vehicles involved. Because there may be signs of damage and injury inside a vehicle, it’s also wise to thoroughly photograph the interior.
  • Pay attention to road conditions: Not all accidents result from driver error. For example, dangerous road conditions, such as potholes, could also contribute to accidents. Look for any such hazards that may have caused your accident, and photograph them accordingly.

Remember to take both close-ups and wide-angle photos. Again, along with photographing the vehicles and the overall accident scene, you should also take pictures of any wounds, scrapes, or other such visual signs of injury.

Photos Document an Accident

You must prioritize your safety after an accident. You should not take photos if attempting to do so would put you in harm’s way or exacerbate your injuries. 

That said, if you can, make a point of taking as many photos of the scene as possible. Along with getting the contact information of witnesses at the scene and exchanging information with the other drivers involved, this is one critical step you can take to improve your chances of winning a case later.

The Krist Law Firm, P.C., represents car accident victims in and around Houston, Texas.