May 7, 2020
If you have ever been in a car accident, you know those first few moments after the accident are very emotional. You are probably not thinking about taking photos or preserving the evidence you may need after an accident. Your first instinct might be to get angry if you know the accident was not your fault. After those first few moments, you will begin to evaluate your health and whether you sustained any injuries.
Once you know you are okay, your next instinct will be to check on your passengers. Are the children okay? Is your spouse okay? If everyone in your car is well, the next thought might be to check on the well-being of the passengers of the other car(s) involved in the accident.
Once you know everybody is okay, it is time to start gathering information. Unfortunately, some people forget to take photos of the accident scene. These photos can be crucial to your claim with the insurance company, and your attorney wants to see these photos too.
The next time you’re involved in an automobile accident, these are the photos you want to capture:
Photos of All Drivers and Passengers
Take pictures of anyone involved with the accident. This includes not only all of the people in your vehicle, but also the people in other vehicles too. You also want to take photos of other people at the scene such as officers, medical personnel, and especially witnesses. It is always good to get as much documentation as possible of other people involved at the scene of the incident.
Why You Should Take Pictures of Everyone
While it may seem cumbersome to take photos of everyone at the scene, there are many instances where stories change after everything is cleaned up. Suddenly, people in the other car claim they have whiplash, or there’s an extra passenger you never saw at the scene that day. Some people will try to take advantage of the insurance companies by claiming injuries to get a payout. By taking photos of all the parties involved, you will know for sure who actually was involved in the accident.
If anyone has visible injuries, you may want to take photos of the injuries of all parties if possible. This will provide documentation of the injuries right after they occurred.
Photos at Different Angles and Distances
Again, you want to have as much photo documentation as possible after an accident. Start with photos all around the accident scene. Inspect the road for debris from the cars, skid marks, road defects, and any other feature which might have been a determining factor in the accident.
Get Photos Before Tow Trucks Arrive
Once the tow trucks and the police arrive, the vehicles are going to be moved, so you want to try to take photos of the resting place of all vehicles. Take enough photographs so any lawyer, claims representative or anybody investigating the accident can visualize where the vehicles stopped after the crash. This photographic evidence will help further substantiate your account of how the accident occurred.
Consider the Weather
If it is a really cold day, this may play a role in the accident. Take photos of ice on the roadways. If there was a downpour or thunderstorm at the time of the crash, take a short video documenting this too. If one of the vehicles crashed due to blinding sunlight, you want to document this too.
Watch the Traffic Signals
In addition, take a few minutes to watch the traffic signals if the accident occurred near a major intersection. Are the lights working correctly? Are the traffic lights out because of a bad thunderstorm? Take photos of the intersection including the lights, and take short videos if you notice anything unusual about the traffic lights.
Is there a disagreement about who had the green light? See if there are witnesses who saw who had the right of way.
Get Photos of Traffic Lanes and Signs
In addition to the vehicles and the traffic signals, you also want to take a few moments to capture images of the traffic lanes and highway signs at the intersection. Capture an image of a yield sign or a stop sign, especially if a sign is partially obscured by a tree or other object.
Get Photos of Driver Information
Finally, you should take photos of the other driver’s license and insurance card. Be especially wary if the other driver doesn’t want to give you their insurance information. This could be because they are uninsured.
Contact an Attorney
After the event is over, you probably need to seek legal counsel. The attorneys at Cravens & Noll, P.C. have been representing parties involved in car accidents all over Virginia for 30 years. We have a team of lawyers and injury trained legal assistants who will represent and assist to make sure you are fairly compensated for your damages and injuries.
Contact us today to begin the process of getting your life back in order!