Being involved in a car crash is stressful enough without having to worry about sticking to a to-do list afterwards. But, there are a number of things you can do in the immediate aftermath of a crash that will go a long way toward protecting your legal rights. One of them is taking photographs. Here are some tips about how to successfully photograph a crash scene:
Photographs and video evidence of a car crash can tell a complete and unbiased version of events leading up to and after the car crash. Photos can show proof of the cause of the accident, what contributing factors may have had a role in the accident, and the extent of damages that victims suffered as a direct result of the impact of the collision. Memory can be unreliable but having photos of the scene of the accident can help remind you of important details that you may have forgotten.
It’s best to take a wide variety of photos. Try to snap photographs from a few different angles and distances. Close up, far away, and anything in-between. When taking photos of vehicles and the surrounding area, try to keep a common landmark in each of the photographs in order to demonstrate distance and scale.
Property damage includes internal and external damage to any vehicles involved, damage to another object or building, and damage to a roadway or sign. In addition to capturing multiple shots of the damage, make sure to photograph any skid marks, debris, or any other evidence that the accident occurred.
There will be a number of details about your crash that you may not be able to recall later if you do not record them immediately. Make sure to take photos of the make, model, and license plate number of the other vehicles, as well as photos of the driver’s license, insurance, and registration information of the other driver(s) involved.
Getting photos of car damage is very important, but context is important as well. There may be elements in the area of the crash scene that can be used later as evidence. You may not even see the relevance at the time you are taking the photos. Try to include the entire surrounding scene in photos.
Take more photos than you think you will need! You never know what you might notice in a picture later on that you originally missed. Take photos of everything that you think is relevant, and take photos of the same thing from multiple angles.
If you are using an actual camera to take photos, make sure the date and time on your camera are accurate. If you are using a smartphone to take photos, the date and time are automatically stored.
When a crash happens, the most important thing to remember is Stay Safe! If you’re injured, do what you need to do to take care of your injuries, or wait for emergency personnel to help you. If it doesn’t feel right to be walking around and taking photos of the crash scene because you’re lightheaded, unsteady on your feet, or for any other reason, then don’t. There are likely to be bystanders, police officers, or perhaps uninjured passengers who can take the photos.
If you were injured in a car crash caused by someone’s negligence, it may be time to contact an experienced team of attorneys about your options. For a free consultation with our team at Scartelli Olszewski, P.C., contact us today.
Rachel D. Olszewski, an attorney at Scartelli Olszewski, P.C., is a dedicated advocate for clients who have suffered unjust harm. Following the legacy of her esteemed family members, Rachel specializes in personal injury, medical malpractice, and criminal defense. She is actively involved in professional associations and serves on the board of the Luzerne County Bar Association Charitable Foundation. Rachel is admitted to practice in Pennsylvania state courts and the U.S. District Court for the Middle District of Pennsylvania.
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