- Physical evidence at the scene of your accident deteriorates quickly. Taking pictures with your cell phone can preserve the proof you need.
- Graphic images of your injuries immediately after the crash and throughout your recovery can help paint a picture of how traumatic your suffering was.
- Photos at the accident scene should include property damage to all cars involved, roadway evidence and damage, and contact information of involved drivers or witnesses.
- While having photos can help your case, posting them or information about your accident on social media can work against you.
After a car accident, an insurance company – or if your case goes to trial, a jury must consider different people’s stories to recall a traumatic event. These recollections often dissolve into “he said – she said” situations. Sometimes, human memories can be flawed, but photographs can tell the precise story of the accident without bias.
Photos that demonstrate the damage and injuries caused by a car accident can help capture permanent evidence of what occurred and strengthen your legal claim.
Here’s why photos are so important and what images are most critical to car accident cases.
Photographs Are Needed After a Car Accident in Georgia
They say a picture is worth a thousand words, and that’s certainly true when it comes to car accident evidence.
While taking photos of property damage may seem obvious, these aren’t the only pictures you should capture. Photos may also help you demonstrate the severity of your injuries.
By the time the insurance company reviews your case and attempts settlement, your injuries will likely have healed. This can make it difficult for insurance company adjusters and lawyers to see how devastating your injuries and recovery were and how your pain and suffering impacted your life.
However, when you have preserved photographic evidence on your cell phone, it can help you obtain full and fair compensation for medical bills, lost wages, as well as pain and suffering after a car accident.
What Photos Are Important After an Accident
Unless you are injured and need immediate medical care, take the time to photograph the accident scene in great detail.
While not all photos will be used by your car accident lawyer, the more you can offer, the better. Here are the types of images you should collect, when possible.
Contact and Insurance Information
Photographs of other involved drivers’ insurance cards, licenses, contact info and phone numbers, and license plates will help ensure this information is not lost or forgotten after the intensity and stress of an accident subside.
Damage of All the Vehicles Involved
Vehicles are often quickly towed away for repairs or demolition. The swift action of taking photos at the scene can ensure that evidence is not lost.
Your photos should include all damage to the vehicles involved in the crash. Make sure to get wider-angle shots to show the placement of each car in relation to the others, as well.
Don’t forget to capture pictures of damage inside the vehicle. These should include any deployed airbags, broken windows, or other visible signs of the accident.
Panoramic Scene of the Accident
Remember to capture “big picture” shots at the scene of the crash. Back away from the cars and photograph the entire environment.
Take these panoramic photos from many positions to help tell the story of what happened. For example, you should include the intersections or on/off ramp that had a part in the wreck – anything that contributed to the accident will be important.
As you do this, please be safe and avoid blocking traffic.
Signs, guardrails, walls, and utility poles often play a part in accidents. Photograph nearby roadways, particularly if they sustained damage or bear the signs of impact.
Additionally, photograph any items on the ground, including broken headlight or taillight covers, bumpers, or glass.
Don’t forget to photograph the street itself if tire skid marks are present. These photos can often help establish the speeds at which vehicles were moving at the time of the accident.
Injuries and Recovery Process
As mentioned earlier, many injuries may heal by the time your case is reviewed and ready to settle. While that’s a wonderful thing, it doesn’t help paint a picture of your pain, suffering, and recovery hardships.
As soon as possible after the accident, take photos of all the physical injuries you or others sustained. You should also continue to document the injuries, bruising, and swelling throughout your recovery.
The goal is to create a timeline and story of your entire recovery process.
How to Obtain Accident Photos If You’re Injured
If you are severely injured, it can be impossible to take photos immediately following your accident. Even if your injuries don’t incapacitate you, the adrenaline caused by a car accident can make it easy to forget to take photos at all.
While you can always go back to the scene, most of the damage may be repaired or no longer visible. Luckily, in our day and age, almost everybody has a cell phone camera.
Very often, accident witnesses will take photos. However, finding those witnesses and the images they captured can be challenging. Having a resourceful legal team can help you locate and obtain such images, giving you additional evidence.
Avoid Sharing or Posting Photos on Social Media
As easy as it is to take photos and videos with cell phones and tablets, it’s also easy and fun to share them through social media, like Facebook, Twitter, YouTube, TikTok, and other outlets. But like anything else on the internet, any photos you upload are out there for anyone to see.
Insurance company defense attorneys routinely look at social media accounts of those pursuing lawsuits against their clients. Even though your injuries and pain and suffering are real, a photo can be presented out of context to hurt your credibility.
It is crucial to keep this in mind throughout your personal injury case.
Save the Photos on an Email or Backup Storage
Always remember to safeguard your photographic evidence. If something happens to your phone before you can share them with your lawyer, your case might be difficult or impossible to win.
Email the digital photos to yourself, store them on another device, or send them to your lawyer immediately, so they are safe in case your phone gets damaged or lost.
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