Those minutes and even hours after a car accident can be daunting. One moment you were driving and trying to stay on a schedule and the next you are looking at your damaged car and wondering if you are physically okay. This can be a stressful time, besides checking in with the other driver, you may be worried about other passengers and dealing with people coming to your aid. On top of all of that, you need to speak to the police, the tow truck driver, your insurance agent and possibly medical personal.
During all this chaos, one very important may item may slip your mind, documenting the scene with photo evidence. The good news is that most everyone has a camera in their pocket or purse. In the past, it may have been difficult to document the scene of the crash with pictures, but now most everyone can use the camera on their phone.
Photos at the scene of an accident provide powerful evidence. A picture can usually tip the balance between a successful insurance claim and one that is turned down. Here is what you need to do.
Document the damage
Take photos not only of the damage on the outside of each car in the accident, but if damage occurred on the inside of the car as well. If property such as road signs were damaged, get photos of that too. Skid marks are very important to document as well as debris from any car.
Documenting injuries is very critical. If you have bruising, swelling or are bleeding, do your best to document this. Continue to take pictures of injuries as they progress or if an injury does not appear until a day or two after the accident.
Get a view of the area
There can be many reasons for an accident and getting photos of the larger area around where an accident happened can help tell the full story. Snap pictures of the whole intersection, winding road or up and down the street you are on. Traffic lights, trees and other obstructions should also be shown.
It may also be wise to get photos of the police officers, witnesses and the other driver. Taking a photo of the other driver’s insurance information, driver’s license and license plate is easier than trying to write everything down.
The more pictures you have the better. You can always delete photos you do not need later. If you are injured, you do not need to struggle to get photos. Take care of yourself first. Ask a family member or friend who may make it to the scene to get photos. If you are all alone, there may be time in the coming days to go back and get photos.
Photos of an accident scene is usually the strongest evidence that can show what happened. You may even consider installing a windshield video camera in your car to document each of your trips. But even if you have video from inside your car that looks out, the types of photos mentioned above will still be important if you are involved in a crash.