When you’re involved in a Memphis car accident, after ensuring everyone’s safety, one of the most important things that can be done is documenting the scene with photos. The police will take pictures when they arrive, but you can also take some of your own before they get there.
However, the number one thing to remember is this: if it isn’t safe for you to take pictures at the accident scene, don’t put yourself in harm’s way! While this post contains advice on taking car accident photos, if you can’t do it yourself safely, then just consider these guidelines an explanation of the photos the police are taking.
Why Are Car Accident Pictures Taken?
Put simply, pictures taken after a car accident could potentially serve as not only proof in an insurance claim but also evidence in a personal injury case. Without those photos, the evidence of your auto accident is taken away rather quickly because cars must be cleared from the road to alleviate traffic problems. With photos, your car accident lawyer can see what happened and determine how to build your case.
Car accident photos are also a source of hard facts when drivers recall the situation differently and disagree on whose fault the wreck was, what was visible, and what was expected due to traffic signals. Car accident pictures can additionally serve as your memory at a time when you have a million other things on your mind, like worrying about an injured passenger, being traumatized by the accident itself, or fretting about the cost and hassle of car repair.
However, if these concerns will cause you to be so distracted that you’re potentially hazardous to your own well being, leave the photography to the police.
What kind of car accident photos should be taken?
When deciding what you need to photograph, consider the images you would need to determine fault if you were an outsider who didn’t see the car accident occur. Photos of the nearest intersection and street signs, along with some broad shots of the entire scene are a good starting point to provide context for the rest of your car accident photos. Then focus in a little more on the cars’ proximity to each other and places on the road.
Of course you will need pictures of any damage to your vehicle and that of the other motorist, including both license plates and any paint that rubbed off on one car from the other. When capturing damage, if possible include the license plate in the same frame to verify that the damage is to that specific car.
Additionally take pictures of details like skid marks, the size and orientation of which can approximately show someone’s speed and the point at which their foot went onto the brake. You can even put a recognizable item next to the skid mark to demonstrate scale. Debris from the accident, such as glass, auto parts, obstructions in the road and bent guardrails should also be captured on camera. Just don’t touch these sharp, potentially dangerous pieces in the process of photographing them.
Also photograph traffic lights and signs, especially those that could indicate who had the right of way when the crash occurred. Additionally capture weather conditions that could have contributed to the accident.
You will also need photos of your injuries. If your injuries worsen within the next few days, such as a bruise that grows or changes colors, take pictures of that as well.
How can I make sure my car accident photos are useful?
One of the most important elements of car accident photos are their timestamps, so make sure you have that setting turned on. If you aren’t sure if your timestamp function is on, you can also take a picture of the date and time on someone else’s phone, with the accident in the background, to prove when the pictures were taken.
Make sure to take a wide variety of car accident pictures, from several angles, close up and from a distance, with and without the flash. Take as many as you can (without posing a safety hazard for yourself or others) because you never know which ones will turn out best and which will be most helpful for your car accident attorney.
While being thorough and staying safe, you will also have to take car accident pictures quickly because the vehicles will need to be moved for traffic to resume normally.
Contact Your Memphis Car Accident Attorney
While these are all helpful pointers, don’t endanger yourself getting pictures. I can’t stress safety enough. I care about your well being and the well being of those around you, which is why I am committed to serving as your Memphis car accident lawyer. If you have been injured in a car accident accident, please don’t hesitate to call my Memphis law firm, and we will do our best to get you compensation for your injuries.