Car accidents are an unfortunate occurrence for many Americans every day. During and after an auto accident, adrenaline can make it difficult to focus and take proper steps to protect oneself from undeserved liability for injuries and damages. One of the best things any driver can do after an auto accident is take pictures of the accident scene.
First Steps After a Car Crash
Once your car comes to a halt after a collision, your first step should be to assess your condition. If you suffered any obvious injuries or are in serious pain, wait for medical responders to arrive on the scene. Attempting to move can sometimes make injuries worse. This is especially the case with any potential spine injuries. If you seem to be fine, it’s still important to be cautious and take it easy until you can see a doctor. Some car accident injuries are not immediately visible, and adrenaline can dull the pain, making it difficult to realize how seriously you’ve been hurt.
If you are able to leave your vehicle, make sure the other drivers are in good condition. Most states require you to call 911 after a car accident if anyone suffered any injuries or the damage appears to exceed several hundred dollars. While you wait for the police and emergency services to arrive, you should be taking pictures of the accident scene. In years past, car insurers would recommend keeping a disposable camera in your car at all times in the event of an accident. Today, most people have cameras readily available with their smartphones.
What Types of Accident Pictures Should I Take?
Once police and emergency responders arrive on the scene, the evidence of the crash is going to quickly disappear. Before that happens, it’s imperative to get as many detailed photos of the scene as possible. Some of the things you should be sure to capture on camera include:
- Damage to the vehicles and/or any personal property. This applies to anything that was damaged or destroyed in the crash. Try to get as close as possible when taking pictures of your property damage for more detail. Also try to get pictures from various angles. Don’t forget to take pictures of the other drivers’ cars and the damage they sustained as well.
- Skid marks. If there are any skid marks on the road, take photos of them. Skid marks can help investigators determine when a driver engaged his or her vehicle’s brakes, and this can be crucial information in a subsequent lawsuit.
- Debris. If any parts detach from vehicles, be sure to take photos of these as well. Do not move anything at first – it is vital to capture the scene as it lies. Take photos of any broken glass or other debris. All of these details will strengthen your case should you have the need to file a lawsuit.
- The accident site. Try to get a few pictures of the surrounding area, including street signs, stop signs, speed limit signs, and any nearby landmarks. A jury won’t be visiting the scene of the crash in person, so taking many photos from various angles helps them form a more accurate understanding of the scene.
- Injuries. If you suffered any injuries during the accident, try to take pictures of them immediately. If you do go to trial, it may not be for several months or even years. Photos of your fresh injuries are going to be influential in your trial if you have already recovered and appear healthy to the jury. After the accident, make sure to take pictures of your injuries over time as well, so the jury can understand the healing process and get an idea of the pain involved.
You don’t have to be an expert photographer to get useful photos after a car accident. Just be mindful of the lighting in the area and try to take well-focused shots. Even if your injuries prevent you from immediately taking photos after an accident, some vital evidence may remain days or even weeks later. Consult with a Riverside personal injury attorney team about your situation, and he or she will be able to gather the appropriate evidence to win your case. Call us in Riverside today for a free consultation! 951-543-9020.