Car accidents happen very quickly. Most of the time, the accidents are not caught on video. Therefore, you will need to photograph the accident scene immediately afterward. You can also take a video(s) of the scene and aftermath. This is particularly important when liability will be disputed, or severe injuries are involved. Insurance companies and defense lawyers will use the photographs to evaluate your case. Use the camera on your smartphone to take extensive pictures of the accident scene so you can build a strong case from the outset.
Five things to take photos of after a car accident
- Property Damage.
Take pictures of all damage to vehicles or other objects at the accident scene. Take pictures that capture the distance between vehicles and their positioning on the road. Take photos that capture multiple views of the cars. You should also take pictures of license plate numbers and VINs of all vehicles involved. Keep in mind that the responding police should record basic information on the driver’s exchange (names, vehicles, insurance policies, etc.), but can’t hurt to record the information yourself.
- Accident Scene and Road.
Take wide-angle pictures of the entire crash scene and the road. Be sure to include weather and road conditions, surroundings, buildings, surveillance cameras, debris, skid marks, etc. Skid marks are critical in determining the direction of vehicles, the position of vehicles, and brake use. These photos will assist an expert who may be retained in your case to reconstruct the accident.
Take pictures of people involved at the accident scene. Take photos of all injuries. Write down the information of the witnesses in case you need their testimony later. Witnesses will often leave the scene before first responders arrive, and they can be difficult to track down. If they refuse to give you their name and number, take a picture of the license plate on their car.
- Traffic signs.
Take pictures of traffic signs and traffic lights. For example, if an accident scene includes an intersection with flashing red or yellow lights, be sure to capture them on photo or video. Street markings, stop bars, stop signs, and yield signs should be photographed as well. Be sure to capture distances between the vehicles and the traffic signs. Doing so will help you build a case of liability and prove who is at fault for the accident.