When faced with a serious – often catastrophic – event like a truck accident, things tend to move at lightning speed. From emergency responders giving medical care to law enforcement working to clear the scene and get traffic flowing again, there are a lot of moving parts and most are concerned with something other than a victim’s legal rights.
Especially in the fast-paced Los Angeles and surrounding Southern California area, it is not always possible to take the time to have an expert truck accident attorney review the scene in person. Photos taken at the time of the accident offer irreplaceable insight into the scene that assist lawyers, expert witnesses, and jurors to determine what happened, why, and what the damages or injuries were. They also can capture information that does not appear in the police report and capture details that witnesses forgot in the heat of the moment or that the victim missed when overwhelmed by the terrifying experience.
The value of taking photos at the scene of an 18-wheeler accident
Photographs orient people and things in time and place. After the scene has been cleared, photos that were taken at the time of the crash will later help determine who and what were in a given place at a given time. One thing to keep in mind, then, is to use a time-stamp function to assist in building a timeline with the images.
Truck accident lawyers see the same types of factual questions come into play in lawsuit after lawsuit and these questions impact legal liability. To help answer these questions, some of the photographs you should try to capture include:
- People – Anyone present at the scene – including parties and witnesses, police, fire, and other first-responders – should be included. Especially important is any injury, even if it does not seem very serious at the moment.
- Places – Be sure to capture evidence of where the accident occurred and how the vehicles were positioned. It is easy to over-focus on the smallest details after a serious accident but obtaining bigger picture photos that include objects like street signs and other location identifiers help others, after-the-fact, visualize where the details existed at the time of the crash.
- Things – Objects on and around the vehicles give clues about the physics involved in the crash and the injuries and damages that resulted. Try to capture images of any objects that were damaged in the collision, including parts vehicles, guardrails, and even skid marks on the road.
When this information is captured by the camera, it can be a major factor in establishing who breached a traffic duty, what mechanism may have failed, how immediately the injuries were apparent, or any number of other elements that may arise in the course of a case.
Los Angeles truck accident attorney
The Salamati Law Firm serves personal injury victims in the Los Angeles area and throughout California. We fight for the rights of victims of trucking accidents and other auto crashes throughout the state. We pride ourselves on diligent representation with integrity and compassion. If you or a loved one have been involved in an 18-wheeler accident, call us for a free consultation.
Additional truck accident resources
- California Highway Patrol, SWITRS 2013 Report, https://www.chp.ca.gov/programs-services/services-information/switrs-internet-statewide-integrated-traffic-records-system/switrs-2013-report
- Insurance Institute for Highway Safety Highway Loss Data Institute, Large trucks, http://www.iihs.org/iihs/topics/t/large-trucks/fatalityfacts/large-trucks