Win Your Case: Taking Photos of Evidence After A Car Accident
In the seconds following a car accident, being able to act quickly is essential. Thinking on your feet and taking action can be the difference between a fair settlement offer that fully covers the extent of your injuries, and one that barely scratches the surface. One of the most important things that you can do after a collision — assuming that you are physically able and not severely injured—is to take photos to document the damage and accident scene. If you cannot take photos immediately following your accident, ask a friend or family member to return to the scene as soon as possible to do so.
In Georgia, you have the right to file a claim with the insurance company, or file a suit against an at-fault driver after a car accident. This is based on Georgia’s car insurance requirements and laws regarding accidents caused by negligence (see the Georgia Office of Insurance and Safety Fire Commissioner). Photos can be essential evidence to build your claim and recover money for your losses. Here are some things that you should take photos of after an auto accident that can help your claim:
Photograph Your Vehicle To Prove The Damage and How the Accident Happened
Take multiple photos of your vehicle as soon as you can after an accident. Focus on getting shots from plenty of angles, and be sure to capture the most highly damaged areas. If your airbags imploded or your vehicle suffered any internal damage, take photos of this, too.
The Other Driver’s Vehicle
Snap some shots of the other driver’s vehicle after a car accident, too. Obviously, a driver may be less inclined to let you photograph the vehicle interior, but taking pictures of the exterior of the vehicle can help to demonstrate points of vehicle contact, and how the accident took place. While you are at it, take pictures of the vehicle’s license plate as well.
Glass, Vehicle Parts, and Debris
When two or more vehicles collide, broken glass, broken vehicle parts, and debris strewn throughout the surrounding area is likely. If it is safe to do so, take as many photos as you can of all of the above. Do not take photos if doing so means putting yourself in harm’s way. If the street or highway where your car accident occurred remains open to traffic while the accident is being cleared, take photos from a safe distance, but do not stand in the street and put yourself at risk of being struck by a passing vehicle.
Don’t Forget About Skid Marks
Skid marks indicate a driver tried to stop suddenly and may indicate a driver was speeding or driving too fast for traffic conditions. If there are skid marks on the pavement where your accident occurred, photograph these marks. Try to show the skid marks in relation to where the collision occurred. Photos of skid marks can help to prove the fault of the other driver and pictures should be taken as soon as possible before they fade or wash away, or other skid marks appear, making it difficult to prove what happened in your accident case.
Nearby Road Signs and Traffic Lights: Proving the Facts of Your Car Accident
When you document nearby road signs and traffic signals, you are also taking steps to show how these signs or signals may have been ignored. For example, if there was a yield sign that was clearly visible at the intersection of your accident, but the other driver failed to yield, then he or she may be held liable for your injuries. Make sure to document where the crash happened, such as the middle of a road, on a curve, in a parking lot, or at an intersection.
Weather Conditions Can Be Important
You may think that weather conditions do not matter much. However, weather conditions can greatly affect an accident. Wet surfaces, snow, or debris in the road caused by wind can have a large effect on the occurrence of an accident. Driving too fast for conditions is a common cause of Georgia motor vehicle accidents. Was the other driver going too fast, even if not speeding? After your accident, take some photos that answer these questions: Was it dark or dusk when the accident occurred? Cloudy? Raining? What were the weather conditions like when you were hit? Is there standing water on the road? Take a photograph of it. Standing water on a road way may also indicate a road maintenance issue if storm drains are clogged or even a defective roadway design.
Proving Your Injuries For Your Injury Case
One of the most important things that you can document after a car or truck accident, or any other type of injury, is the extent of injuries that you have suffered. Take a picture of your injuries as soon as you are able to after the accident. You may need to ask a friend or family member to help you. As time passes, continue to document – do you now have a scar from where you had to have surgery? Did you have to wear a cast? Is a part of your body permanently crippled? When you file a claim for damages, these photos can help to demonstrate the severity of the injuries that you have suffered, and also prove to an insurance company that the injuries are not fabricated.
Witnesses and Surrounding Businesses
Taking photos of witnesses will only be possible in the moments following your crash; if you wait too long, the witnesses will have left. However, taking photos of witnesses can help you to remember that there were others there who saw your crash, and who may be able to testify on your behalf at a later time. You should try to get the witnesses’ contact information so that you can reach them later to get their statements about how the accident occurred.
Taking photos of surrounding businesses also is a good idea. Some businesses have security cameras set up to protect their premises. The security cameras may record an auto accident on tape. The footage may be essential to proving your accident claim. Taking photos of surrounding businesses will help your attorney know which businesses to contact about obtaining possible video footage. Security camera video footage is typically recorded over after a certain period of time, so it is important to contact an attorney immediately after an accident to try to identify and preserve evidence before it disappears.
Talk to a Lawyer as Soon as You Can after an Auto or Truck Accident
At The Millar Law Firm, we understand how to build a compelling case for compensation. The sooner you call us, the sooner we can start investigating your case and gathering photographs, videotapes and other evidence to support your accident claim. If you have been in a vehicle accident caused by another driver’s carelessness or negligence, you deserve a full settlement. In Georgia, you have two years to file a civil action after a personal injury, per Georgia Code Section 9-3-20. Because of this, we encourage you to not wait a moment longer to take action.
To learn more about our law firm and how we can help you, reach out to us today. We are reachable by phone, or you can fill out our online contact form to reach an attorney. We look forward to hearing from you.
For more information, the team at the The Millar Law Firm are here to help. With years of experience helping accident victims get the compensation they deserve, the team of attorneys at The Millar Law Firm can help you too. Call today!
Legal Resources and Answers to Common Questions about Injury Cases
- Can You Get Blue Book Value For Your Car After a Car Accident?
- Should I call a Lawyer the Day of the Car Accident?
- What if there are conflicting stories after the car accident happened?
- When is the best time to sue after a car wreck in Georgia?
- Do I even have a car accident lawsuit?
- What if the person that hit me was drinking?
- How do I get money to pay my medical bills and car repair after an accident?
- How long does it take to get compensation after a car accident?
- How much should I expect to get compensation for my car accident lawsuit?