According to the National Safety Council, more than 4.5 million Americans were injured on in 2015, underscoring the prevalence of car accidents on our nation’s roads and highways. In the majority of accidents, the at-fault driver is easy to identify, but there are always accidents in which liability is disputed among parties. In the event of any type of motor vehicle collision in California, having photographic evidence of the accident scene can help protect your rights in an insurance claim, or a courtroom if a lawsuit is filed.
Importance of accident scene photographs
By taking picture of the scene where the accident took place, you are taking key steps to preserve valuable evidence. Even the most minor of crashes can be anxiety-provoking. The most important thing is to stay calm, report the incident and – when you are able to – take pictures with your smartphone or camera. Photos of all vehicle damage in addition to the immediate surroundings will be especially useful when dealing with your own insurance company, and that of the other motorist. Car accident pictures will not only show property damage and injuries to persons, but they will also illuminate the location, whether the roads were slick due to rain, snow or spilled debris, the collision points, and the exact position of the vehicles after impact. Details like these can be challenging to remember amidst all the confusion and can help back up your claim if you’re pursuing a personal injury lawsuit for monetary compensation.
In the event you’re in a collision with another driver, consider these three tips for taking quality car accident photos.
Take as many photos as possible
In the context of visual evidence, quantity is just as relevant as quality. In other words, try and take as many pictures as possible. While some photos may seem redundant or unnecessary, they may reveal a critical detail later on. Keep in mind that time is of the essence, as the vehicles may be moved to clear room for traffic.
Details to capture in car crash photos
Your photographs should include:
- Interior and exterior of your own vehicle, showing the damage
- Exterior shots of the other vehicle’s damage and position
- License plates of all vehicles involved
- Debris from the accident, such as broken glass, a bumper or other car parts
- Skid marks or damaged guard rails
- Any orange hazard cones
- Signs indicating a construction zone
- People who were involved in the accident
- Close-up and far-away shots of the road where the accident occurred
- Traffic lights or stop signs
- Surrounding landmarks
- Visible injuries you or your passengers have suffered
Use a variety of distances/angles
Another important tip is to take your photographs from multiple angles that capture landmarks in the background for reference and scale. Panoramic and distance shots (no more than 20 feet away) paint a clear picture of the local surroundings and the position of the vehicles. Close-up shots (1-5 feet away) should also be included, to demonstrate the full extent of vehicle damage. If your cell phone or camera has a date stamp function, make sure to use it. If the accident happened at dusk or after nightfall, try and experiment with different flash settings to ensure photos are clear and readable.
Pursuing a car accident claim in California
The Salamati Law Firm wants you to be prepared in the event of a motor vehicle accident. When pursuing a personal injury claim on behalf of clients, we often use car accident photos taken at the scene as supporting evidence, which can leverage your case for monetary compensation.
If you were injured because of another driver’s negligence, an experienced LA car accident lawyer at our firm can protect your right to fair car accident compensation. To learn more, we invite you to schedule a free consultation in our Los Angeles office.
Additional “Car Accident Photo” Resources:
- US Insurance, Why You Should Always Take Pictures After a Car Accident https://usinsuranceagents.com/take-pictures-after-car-accident
- Cheat Sheet, 10 Things You Should Always Do After a Car Accident http://www.cheatsheet.com/automobiles/things-you-should-always-do-car-accident.html/?a=viewall