After being in a car accident, the first things you should do are make certain no one is seriously injured and call the authorities for help. Next, exchange insurance and contact information before you forget. Once those tasks are out of the way, it is already time to start working on your car accident claim by collecting evidence that improves your case. Namely, it is time to start taking photographs of the scene using your smartphone.
Pictures are Worth Thousands of Words
Insurance adjusters, judges, and juries alike are bound to be swayed by photographic evidence of an accident scene. But not all pictures are equally useful. If you really want to benefit your claim, then you will need to be thorough. Keep in mind that you want pictures, not video, of the crash site. It can be difficult to get fine details using video, and it is also inconvenient to try to isolate a frame to single out, especially if the camerawork was a jumpy. If you are like most people who have been in a car accident, then your hands will be shaky for little while after and your footage will be as well.
Remember: Only take photographs of a car accident scene when it is safe to do so. Do not step into traffic to try to get a picture. Do not move about if this worsens your injuries. Do not do anything that would endanger yourself or others.
Here’s a list of easy-to-remember car accident scene photography tips:
- Establish the scene: You are not a cinematographer trying to win an award, but you do need to try to show the whole scene with establishing shots. Use wide angles from multiple viewpoints to clearly depict the overall accident, not just specific points of impact.
- Locate all the actors: You need plenty of pictures of every single car that was involved in the crash, not just yours or those that sustained damage. It is ideal if none of the cars were moved before you take these photos.
- Stage direction: Are there traffic signals, roadside signs, and other indicators on or around the road? Get close-ups of all of these things, as well as more establishing shots that show them in relation to the collision site.
- Show the setting: Mother Nature plays a big role in many car accidents. Don’t forget to photograph the weather and other environmental hazards, like debris on the road. Oppositely, pictures showing clear weather conditions can disprove a liable driver’s claim that nature caused the crash.
- Ready for close-ups: The fine intricacies of damage to vehicles can be highly telling of what happened, and why. Get detailed close-up shots of dents, bangs, scrapes, broken glass, tire skids, and more. You should also try to get pictures of everyone’s faces and their injuries. It might help if you have an iron stomach, for graphic images are unpleasant but powerful evidential tools for your claim.
- Venue details: What was the date and time of your accident? This information is usually overlooked but could be crucial to your claim. If you cannot snap a shot of someone else’s smartphone that shows the time and date, then you should see if there is a timestamp function in your camera app.
Fayetteville, AR Car Accident Attorney Here to Help
After you have all of your photographs taken, going through them to build your case can feel like a bit of a hassle, especially if you need to focus on rest and recuperation. To get a trusted and compassionate Fayetteville, AR car accident lawyer’s assistance with all aspects of your injury claim, you can contact Deacon Law Firm at any time. Our team has more than 60 years of total legal experience, multiple multimillion dollar case results, and offers free consultations to get you pointed in the right direction.