The immediate aftermath of a car accident can leave you feeling anxious, upset, and confused. Even so, preserving evidence, such as taking many photos at the scene, is crucial for proving fault to collect a settlement from the negligent driver. While taking pictures and accumulating evidence are essential, however, health and safety should take precedence over everything else. Seek medical care immediately if you suffer injuries in a collision. Consider contacting a seasoned car crash lawyer at Steelman Gaunt Crowley at (573) 341-8336 to learn more about navigating the aftermath of a car accident, including what to know about taking accident scene photos.
Tips for Taking Car Accident Scene Photos
Photographs effectively support insurance and legal claims by proving driver negligence and the damages and losses from an incident.
- Take accident scene photos as soon as possible.
- Use photos to capture the details of other involved motorists, including a picture of their insurance and contact information.
- Take pictures of injuries.
- Take several pictures of everything, with and without using the flash.
- There is no such thing as too many accident scene photos.
After an accident, pictures are an excellent way to tell the story and support statements. Even if a motorist thinks they could have been at fault for the crash, taking photos can help establish the extent of property damage in the incident and limit liability. Further, Missouri follows the pure comparative negligence rule for car accidents. That means that even if the plaintiff or other drivers share fault for the cause of action, the claimant can collect damages for the defendant’s liability portion. The insurance company or civil court will diminish the settlement amount by the plaintiff’s and other third parties’ percentage of fault.
Photos You Should Take at the Scene of an Accident
Accident scene photographs are powerful evidence of fault and damages and are often much more effective than statements from the drivers and witnesses. Some of the essential pictures to take include the following:
- Photos of every vehicle involved in the collision.
- The insurance card and driver’s license of the other drivers.
- Vehicle damages for everyone involved in the accident.
- Surroundings to document the location and contributing factors, such as crosswalks, red lights, or traffic signs.
- Photos of the driver’s injuries and those of the other motorists involved in the incident.
- Accident facts, such as skid marks and debris in the road.
- The vehicle’s interior, including deployed airbags and the odometer.
- Evidence of inclement weather, poor road conditions, and any other contributing factors that played a part in causing the collision.
Drivers have a short window of time after an accident to collect evidence, and taking as many photos as possible is a simple way to document everything. A personal injury attorney at Steelman Gaunt Crowley can provide motorists with guidance on the claims process, including evidence collection and recording the incident through accident scene photos.
Secure the Scene, Preserve the Evidence
Securing the scene to preserve evidence after a collision caused by another person’s negligence is crucial. According to the Missouri Department of Revenue, the state follows an at-fault system for car crashes. The negligent driver’s insurance must pay for the damages of the accident. Pictures are among the most effective tools for collecting evidence these days, as almost everyone has a smartphone, and photos are more reliable than statements. If the accident causes drivers to sustain injuries, seeking medical care is a top priority. However, if the drivers are uninjured, documenting the accident scene before police officers arrive is vital. They will quickly investigate, complete an accident report, and clear the scene for traffic and safety reasons.
How to Take Car Accident Photos for an Insurance Claim
The first vital aspect is to capture the entire accident scene either through many pictures or by video. When the tow trucks tow away cars, take pictures as evidence. Documenting every detail of the accident is essential, even if it may seem unimportant at the time. Many pictures taken from all angles can be the best silent witness statement to help recover a settlement from the at-fault driver.
Be Sure to Capture the Details
Taking clear and accurate photos of the collision scene is crucial. This includes taking pictures of deployed airbags, shattered windows, dents, scratches, or fluid leading from vehicles. Take photos of everything, even if you are uncertain of their relevance. Deleting unneeded pictures takes seconds, while not having the necessary images can be a significant issue. Lack of evidence proving fault can significantly impact the ability to collect a settlement from the liable party.
How to Properly Photograph Your Car’s Damage
Take two or more pictures of everything, including images of automobile dents, scrapes, tire blowouts, and other supporting evidence. Taking photos of every side of the vehicle, including any panels or bumpers without damage, can be extremely helpful in proving the extent of damages the accident caused.
Take Photos From Different Angles and Distances
Not only is it essential to take multiple pictures of everything, but it is also vital to take pictures from different angles and distances. Take close-up photos of dents, cracks, and scratches, then take a few steps back and retake pictures of the damage from that distance. Step to the right and take photos, then move to the left and take more.
Call Today to Schedule a Consultation With an Experienced Car Accident Attorney
Accident scene pictures are excellent evidence to support your insurance or personal injury claim, so ensuring they are clear and thorough is critical. Photography is among the best evidence for recovering damages and losses in an accident claim. Smartphone cameras are prevalent and allow you to preserve all the crucial details to support your case. Memories fade, and people forget or change their minds, but accident scene photos are solid, unchanging evidence. Consider contacting a qualified car crash lawyer at Steelman Gaunt Crowley at (573) 341-8336 for legal advice about accident scene photos.