What Should I Take Pictures of When I Get Into a Car Accident?

What Should I Take Pictures of When I Get Into a Car Accident

When you get into a car accident, it’s common to become flustered — you may overthink everything or feel so overwhelmed that it becomes challenging to take a moment to consider everything you’ll need to protect yourself in case of litigation. While many pieces of the puzzle can later be obtained by attorneys involved, you must take as many pictures as possible at the scene to preserve them as evidence of the damages sustained. But which pictures should you take? Other than injuries and damage to your car, what else may become relevant to help you establish your case?

Importance of Taking Pictures at a Car Accident Scene

Before diving into what to photograph, it’s crucial to understand why taking pictures at a car accident scene is so important. Photos provide an objective record of the incident, capturing the details that can be pivotal in determining fault and securing fair compensation. They can also protect you from fraudulent claims and ensure that your account of the event is backed up by concrete evidence.

Safety First

Before taking pictures, prioritize your safety and the safety of others. Do not obstruct traffic while doing so — Florida law requires that you move your cars out of traffic’s way, if possible.

Property Damage

1. Damage to Your Car

Take comprehensive photos of your vehicle from multiple angles to document all areas of damage. Include close-up shots to capture details such as dents, scratches, and broken parts. These images will help assess the damage’s extent and estimate repair costs.

2. Damage to Other Vehicles

Photograph the damage to every other vehicle involved in the accident. Ensure you capture different perspectives and details, as this will be important for insurance claims and to establish the severity of the impact on all parties involved.

3. Damage to Other Property

If the accident caused damage to any structures or objects, such as fences, walls, street signs, or guardrails, take pictures of these as well. Documenting all affected property helps create a comprehensive record of the incident.

Injuries From the Accident

1. Your Injuries

Take pictures of any injuries you sustain from various angles to capture the full extent of your harm. Document it even if an injury seems minor, such as redness or swelling. This evidence can be crucial for medical claims and legal proceedings.

2. Other Individuals’ Injuries

If possible, photograph the injuries of other parties involved, including passengers and any pedestrians who may have been affected. Ensure they get their consent before taking pictures and document all visible injuries from multiple angles.

The Other Driver’s Information

1. Driver’s License

Photograph the other driver’s license to ensure you have accurate identification details. This avoids potential issues with illegible handwriting or incorrect information.

2. Insurance Card

Capture clear images of the other driver’s insurance card. This information will be necessary for filing claims and coordinating with insurance companies.

3. License Plate

Take pictures of the license plates of all vehicles involved in the accident. This helps identify the cars and their owners, especially if the other party leaves the scene.

Road Conditions

1. Skid Marks

Document any skid marks on the road. Skid marks can provide valuable information about the vehicles’ speed and actions before the collision.

2. Road Surface

Photograph the road surface to show its condition during the accident. Wet, icy, or damaged roads can contribute to accidents, and this information can be relevant in determining fault.

3. Lighting and Weather Conditions

Capture the lighting and weather conditions as they were during the accident. These factors can significantly impact visibility and driving conditions, which may be pertinent to your case.

Cross-Streets and Traffic Signs

1. Intersection Layout

Take pictures of the intersection where the accident occurred from different angles. This helps reconstruct the scene, understand the traffic flow, and identify potential visibility issues.

2. Traffic Signs and Signals

Photograph all relevant traffic signs, signals, and road markings. These can be critical in determining whether traffic laws were violated and who had the right of way.

Nearby Businesses and Surveillance Cameras

1. Business Locations

Note the locations of nearby businesses. Employees or customers may have witnessed the accident, and their testimonies could be valuable.

2. Surveillance Cameras

If any nearby businesses have surveillance cameras, take pictures of the cameras’ positions. This can help request and obtain footage that may have captured the accident.

Getting a Police Report

In some situations, obtaining a police report is mandatory and beneficial. If the accident involves any of the following, Florida Statutes section 316.066 requires a written police report:

  • Visible Property Damage: If any vehicles or property are visibly damaged.
  • Injuries: If anyone is injured in the accident.
  • Drug or Alcohol Influence: If one of the drivers is suspected of being under the influence of drugs or alcohol.
  • Towing Required: If any vehicles need to be towed from the scene.
  • Commercial Vehicles: If a commercial motor vehicle is involved.

Information Included in a Police Report

A police report will include critical information such as:

  • Date, time, and location of the accident
  • Full names, addresses, and insurance information of drivers involved
  • Description of the motor vehicles involved
  • Names and contact information of passengers
  • Names and contact information of witnesses
  • Name, badge number, and law enforcement agency of the officer

Being involved in a car accident can be a chaotic and stressful experience, but taking the proper steps immediately afterward can significantly impact the outcome of any subsequent claims or legal actions. Prioritize safety first, and then systematically document the scene with detailed photographs. Capture images of all vehicle damage, injuries, road conditions, traffic signs, and nearby businesses. Don’t forget to obtain a police report if the situation warrants it. These actions will help you protect your rights, support your claims, and ensure a fair resolution. Remember, thorough documentation is your best defense in navigating the aftermath of a car accident.

Contact Clark Hartpence Law Today for a Free Consultation

If you have been injured in a car accident, meet with an experienced personal injury lawyer to protect your rights and get the compensation you deserve. Contact Clark Hartpence Law today for a free consultation on your case. We are an experienced and knowledgeable legal team ready to support you during a difficult time.

If you or someone you love was involved in an accident, call us at (855) 680-4911 or schedule a free consultation.

Disclaimer: This blog is for informational purposes only and does not create an attorney/client relationship.