When you are in an accident, everything can happen so fast. Not only do you have to deal with the shock of being in an accident, but you also have to consider any injuries you may have sustained, damage to your car, the other person you were in a crash with, calling the police, and so forth. In these sorts of high adrenaline moments, it can be easy to forget small details. Later, when you’re filing a police report, calling your insurance company, or exploring legal options, you may not be able to recall pertinent information. That is why it is important to take pictures of the scene of the accident. With the evidence recorded in pictures, it will be easier for you to receive the compensation you deserve for being in an accident caused by someone else’s negligence.
What should I take pictures of after a Lancaster car accident?
After a car accident, documenting the scene and the damages is essential for insurance claims and legal purposes. The insurance company’s investigators will take photos (if they can), but having your own set – especially in those moments right after the accident – can prove beneficial later. The types of pictures you should take include:
- Overview of the accident scene. Start by taking wide-angle photos of the entire accident scene. Capture the positions of the vehicles involved, traffic signs, and any relevant landmarks or road conditions. This provides context for the accident.
- Tire tracks and debris. Photograph any skid marks on the road and debris scattered around the accident scene. These visuals can help reconstruct the sequence of events leading to the collision.
- Traffic signs and signals. Capture up-close images of traffic signs, signals, and traffic lights at the scene. If these played a role in the accident, their condition and positioning can be crucial.
- Road conditions. Document the condition of the road, including potholes, uneven surfaces, or any other road defects that might have played a role in the accident.
- Property damage. Document any damage to nearby property, such as guardrails, fences, or road signs. These images can support your claim if you believe external factors contributed to the accident.
- Vehicle damage. Photograph each vehicle involved in the collision from various angles. Capture close-up shots of the damage, including dents, scratches, and any visible structural damage.
- License plates and vehicle identification numbers (VINs). Ensure you capture clear images of the license plates of all vehicles involved. Additionally, note down or photograph the VINs, which can be found on the dashboard or driver’s side door frame.
- In-car photos. If it’s safe to do so, take pictures from inside your vehicle, capturing the view from your perspective. This can help illustrate your line of sight and what you observed.
- Injuries. If you or anyone else involved in the accident sustained injuries, take pictures of visible wounds, bruises, or any bloodstains. These images can serve as evidence of injuries that may have faded or been treated by the time your claim or lawsuit is filed.
- Weather and lighting conditions. Note the weather conditions at the time of the accident. Take pictures of rain, snow, fog, or any other weather-related factors that may have contributed to the crash.
Remember to prioritize safety when taking these pictures. Ensure that the accident scene is secure, and if necessary, move to a safe location before documenting the scene. Additionally, if you are unable to take photos due to injuries or other constraints, ask a witness or a law enforcement officer to assist.
Why is taking pictures important to an injury claim?
Taking pictures after a car crash is important for several important reasons. Photos provide a visual record of the accident scene, vehicle damage, injuries, and road conditions. This evidence can be critical for insurance claims, legal proceedings, and accident investigations.
First, your photos can give you credibility when you talk about your version of the events. If you say that your vehicle was hit from behind, and you have a photo that shows damage to the rear of your car (and to the front of the other vehicle), that is pretty compelling evidence that you are telling the truth.
Second, it helps with the consistency of your case. Memories will fade over time. You may remember that you were hit by, say, a red SUV, but not remember that it was actually a maroon Chevy Equinox. While your memory of which exact vehicle hit you may not be relevant in terms of the facts – after all, there will be a police report and an insurance claim filed – it is exactly the type of honest mistake that an insurance company will attempt to exploit during a deposition. Injury claims arising from vehicle crashes can take time to reach a conclusion, because you’ll need to know the full extent of your injuries. Having these photos can help as your memories start to fade.
Finally, it ensures that evidence cannot be manipulated. The insurance company and, potentially, the other driver, are going to take photos. The responding officer may take photos. There could be surveillance video that captures part of the crash. Do not doubt that the other driver’s insurance company will attempt to exploit these photos and videos as a way of offering a lower claim. If you have photos of your own, especially ones taken in the immediate aftermath of the collision, it ensures that the truth of what happened to you will come out. Photos provide an objective record of the accident, free from biases or inaccuracies in verbal accounts. They help ensure that the facts are accurately represented.
It is important to note that you should only take pictures if it is safe to do so. Your safety is your number one priority. With or without photos, if you have been injured in a car accident caused by someone else’s negligent or reckless behavior, you deserve compensation. You should not have to pay for another person’s mistake.
At KBG Injury Law, our Lancaster car accident attorneys are experienced in representing car accident victims whether there are pictures to support the case or not. With pictures, however, we can better work to ensure that you receive as much compensation as possible. After an accident, you should focus on healing both physically and mentally, and not on the complicated legal process. Let us do that for you. To schedule a free consultation, call us at one of our offices, or fill out our contact form. Our team has locations in Harrisburg, Lancaster, Gettysburg, Hanover, and York. We will make you our top priority, so that you receive the justice you deserve.
The personal injury attorneys at KBG Injury Law are all experienced litigators. Almost all of them represented insurance companies prior to becoming advocates for injured people, which provides them with a unique perspective and insight into how these companies operate. They also offer extensive courtroom experience if going to trial is the best legal alternative for the client.