Any car, truck or motorcycle accident (even a minor one) is a stressful experience. But once you’ve made sure that no one has been injured and shared some basic information with the other driver, you should do your best to document the accident scene by taking photos either with a camera or even a cell phone.
Why Take Photos?
Photos will preserve evidence of the crash before anyone has moved the vehicles or cleared the debris (broken glass, broken car parts, etc.) This can help the insurance companies (yours and the other driver’s) determine what happened and who was at fault. If you’ve been injured in the crash, the photos will enable your car accident attorney to reconstruct the facts of the accident in any legal claim and refresh your memory when you need to give testimony about the incident in a deposition, court hearing or trial.
Documenting the Scene
First, make sure that the date/time tagging function is enabled on your camera.
Then, start taking the photos by concentrating on the following:
- Your vehicle and its damage
- The other vehicles involved and their damage
- Vehicle parts and other debris on the ground
- Skid marks
- The intersection, parking lot or other location of the accident
- Traffic lights and signs at the scene
- Any damage sustained by stationary objects at the scene – guardrails, signs, trees, etc.
- Any visible injuries sustained by you or other drivers/passengers (but obviously only to the extent they consent to your taking such photos)
- Weather conditions
Do not wait for the police to arrive to begin taking photographs. The police often start clearing the scene of vehicles and debris immediately to avoid traffic problems. You want to preserve the accident scene before it has been tampered with.
Other Photo Tips
You’ll want to take multiple photos of each item from different angles and distances (3 shots of each from different perspectives should suffice). Make sure that sun glare or other lighting conditions aren’t distorting or concealing the details in your photos. You may need to experiment with different flash levels to capture the detail you need – especially at night.
Wide-angle shots of the vehicles and the location can be helpful to document distances and scale. A single landmark appearing in the background of multiple photos can also assist the insurance companies and your lawyer when they try to reconstruct the vehicles’ likely trajectories and final positions.
Hirsch & Lyon Accident Law Can Help
Engaging an experienced Phoenix car accident lawyer to help you sort through the aftermath of a car accident – your injuries and the damage to your vehicle – will put you in a better position to deal with the insurance companies and other drivers involved. Hirsch & Lyon Accident Law can also maximize your compensation for those damages. Call any of our offices to arrange for a free consultation.