Why You Should Take Accident Scene Photos After a Crash
If you have ever heard the expression that a picture is worth a thousand words, just keep in mind that in a car accident injury claim, a picture can also make or break your case. Whether it’s a settlement negotiation or a full-blown jury trial, photographs have the unique ability to prove themselves.
People generally take photographs as being authentic and self-evidencing. While there are a number of actual rules of evidence that must be understood before a photo can be introduced and used in a trial, just the existence of clear photos can help to settle a case.
At Ketterman Rowland & Westlund, our car accident attorneys have spent years carefully developing trial skills and techniques for proving injury cases. Insurance companies know it, and they know that good photos can make the difference in a successful injury claim. Here are some reasons why you should definitely try to get photos of a crash scene.
What You Need to Take Photos of and Why
There are several ways you can use your phone’s camera to capture evidence that could be helpful in your claim. We suggest that you start by taking photos of:
Your car – While research tends to show that there is no direct correlation between property damage claims and injury claims, the fact is juries are still human. When they see a massive collision or substantial damages to a car, it tends to help them understand just how severe the impact was and how likely it was that the impact was painful. Try to get pictures of your vehicle damages if at all possible.
The other car – In addition to your own vehicle, pictures of the other driver’s car can help to show:
- The angle of the crash
- How the impact happened
- The speed and velocity of the impact
The scene of the accident – It’s not just the cars that matter. You should also try to get pictures of the crash scene itself. This includes stop signs, red lights, intersections, skid marks, pieces of the vehicles left on the road, and so forth.
Injuries – While many serious injuries have no visible symptoms, some do. Bruising, lacerations, bleeding, scars, surgical sites, and other graphic images that show the realities of your injuries can all be huge factors in truly demonstrating the severity of your injuries for a jury. It’s true that your lawyer can explain that you had to undergo an external fixation procedure. However, it will be much more compelling if the jury can visualize the screws that went into your arm or the rod that was inserted and the scars that were left behind.
Finally, in some cases, it may be valuable to video record the crash scene, including the intersection of traffic signs, the other vehicles traveling by, and how fast people travel. Sometimes it can help to video record the light intervals, as well.
3 Tips for Taking Accident Scene Photos
Although most people know how to use their camera phones, there is a special art to taking accident scene photos. You’ll want to get images from three different angles:
- Wide-angle shots that show all vehicles or a single vehicle from far enough back to see all the damage
- Close-up shots that show the damages in detail
- Scene images that show both vehicles side by side or the crash scene as a whole
Using Car Crash Pictures as Evidence in a Car Accident Claim
Taking pictures after a car accident can help to put your injuries in context and prove the extent of the injuries you’ve suffered. However, it’s likely that if you were in a bad enough crash, you may be immediately transported from the scene to the hospital.
This is where friends and family come in. If you’re in a crash and are able, ask a passenger, witness, or some other person at the scene to take photos and send them to you. If you have no one available, you can call or text a friend or close family member and let them know where the accident happened. Ask them to call Ketterman Rowland & Westlund immediately.
Once a skilled team of attorneys is on the job, we can quickly step into action to preserve critical evidence that will be needed later to prove your case. This often means:
- A thorough investigation into the facts of your accident
- Interviewing witnesses and protecting your rights
- Obtaining electronic crash data from the crash recorder built into the vehicles (many late-model vehicles are equipped with recorder devices nowadays)
- Collecting government reports, crash reports, and police videos
- Communicating with medical providers to understand the injuries and the long-term impact they may have on your life
- Consulting with medical experts, forensic experts, and engineers
Once we’ve built a strong case for compensation, we can handle all the settlement negotiations on your behalf so that you don’t have to. Many insurance adjusters are specially trained to take advantage of unrepresented people and get them to accept low settlements.
Our attorneys have years of experience negotiating fair and reasonable settlements. However, in some situations, insurance companies simply won’t pay. When this happens, our attorneys know what it takes to force the issue by taking it to trial and arguing a case before a judge and jury.
Contact Our Car Accident Lawyers Today
If you’ve already been in a wreck and think it’s too late to take pictures, keep in mind you still have options. You don’t always have to take car crash pictures yourself. You can hire an experienced personal injury law firm to help with your case.
If you contact the car accident lawyers at Ketterman Rowland & Westlund, we may still be able to get investigators out to take photographs of the wreckage, capture images and videos of your injuries, and document your daily life after the accident.
Everything we do is structured to help you and your loved ones pursue maximum compensation for your injuries. If you need help after a car crash, let our experienced team collect the evidence and build the strongest case possible. For a free consultation, contact us today.