No one wants to think about being a car crash victim. But in California, where commuter traffic and injury accidents are among the highest in the nation, it’s worth considering some steps that might prove useful after a car accident.
If you have been injured in a car accident, you may have a claim for financial compensation, and gathering evidence after the accident is vital to your claim’s success.
California car accident attorneys advise that car accident photos and videos are particularly useful in legal cases for damages. By following a few tips for taking photographs after an accident, you will have strong photographic evidence to substantiate your version of events and challenge an opposing party.
4 Helpful Tips About Gathering Photographic Evidence of a Car Crash
Photographs and video evidence of a car accident can tell a complete and unbiased version of events leading up to and after the car crash.
Here are four tips about how to successfully photograph a car accident:
1. Take a lot of photos
There can never be too many photos of a car crash. Photographs often show details otherwise unnoticed or forgotten in the stress following an auto collision.
Most cell phones have cameras. Use your cellphone and begin taking photos as soon as possible after the accident. If you aren’t able to do so, ask a witness or bystander to capture photographs with their cell phone for your use later.
2. Capture different perspectives.
Car accident attorneys prefer photographs taken from a variety of vantage points and angles:
- Close-up pictures show the severity of property damage and personal injuries resulting from a car crash. “
- Wide-angle pictures should reflect the accident’s surroundings, including any elements that may have influenced the crash, i.e., light sources, traffic signs, road hazards, obstructed visibility, etc. When taking a series of wide-angle photos, remember to include a common landmark in each picture.
- Panoramic pictures can offer a 360-degree version of the car crash, including vehicle placement, drivers and passengers, all sides of damaged vehicles, vehicle occupants, witnesses, and the crash site.
3. Photograph everything and everyone
With sensitivity to all parties involved and first responders’ efforts, photograph as many details of your car accident as possible.
- Injuries: Take pictures of your car crash injuries, including any changes that develop after the accident, such as bruising, swelling, and infection.
- Vehicle Damage: Photograph damage to your vehicle and the other vehicles involved.
- Vehicle Interiors: Pictures of a car’s interior can go a long way to piecing together the accident’s cause. Take photos of cell phones and headsets, bottles and cans, drug paraphernalia, odometers, and speed detectors.
- Vehicle Identifiers: Snap a photo of the other cars’ makes, models, and license plate numbers.
- Surroundings: Pictures of the surrounding area are essential when reconstructing the accident and determining fault. Photos of the incident should include traffic signs and lights, intersection markings, road hazards, CalTrans work, trees, and landscaping.
Take pictures after medical aid has been rendered to injured parties and before the vehicles are moved. Be cautious to protect yourself from oncoming traffic and to not interfere with police or other emergency personnel.
4. Use Dash Cam Video
Dash cams are increasingly popular in California. If you don’t have one installed in your vehicle, chances are another driver might.
Many dashcams record video and audio outside and inside the car. Dashcam videos offer valuable evidence about traffic conditions and environmental factors, as well as reckless, distracted, and impaired driving, which may have contributed to the car accident.
If you have dashcam video of your car accident, check with your car crash lawyer about whether it will be helpful or admissible in your car accident case.
How a California Car Accident Attorney Can Help
What you do after a California car accident will significantly influence your legal claim for damages.
When you retain an experienced California car accident attorney, they will thoroughly investigate the accident and gather facts to use during settlement negotiations or litigation. Any photographs or videos provided will help your attorney prepare a complete and cohesive argument on your behalf.
For more information about photograph and video evidence in your car accident case, speak with a knowledgeable car accident lawyer today. Contact our office today.