As a personal injury attorney, I am surprised that 30-40% of our clients do not initially take pictures after a car accident.
Pictures of the damage to your vehicle, the damage to the at-fault vehicle and the surrounding area is crucial for a car accident attorney to properly evaluate your case and get you the compensation you deserve.
When you should take pictures after a car accident
At the scene, if possible.
Remember to take pictures of the damage to your vehicle AND the at-fault vehicle. Also, take any pictures or video of the scene that you feel could be helpful in litigation: for example, skid marks, rain puddles, a traffic sign (i.e. caution sign), a traffic light (with blinking yellow), the final resting place of the vehicle, overgrown hedges, etc.
Additionally, take any pictures of your visible injuries – i.e. red marks from airbag, scratch from glass, broken finger, etc.
Distance between you and taking the photos
You should take pictures of ANY property damage close up (a few feet away) and approximately ten feet away.
You should also take pictures from different angles as certain angels do not show the full-extent of the property damage. This is especially true concerning dents on darker color vehicles and/or rear end collisions. Pictures from a few feet away often lack perspective that can be seen with a picture from a longer distance away.
Also, take pictures of any perceived frame damage.
So why are pictures after a car accident helpful
Pictures after a car accident are valuable for a number of reasons.
First, it memorializes the damage of your vehicle from THIS accident in the event you are involved in a subsequent accident over the next couple of days (you would be surprised on how often this happens).
Second, it memorializes the damage to the at-fault vehicle in the event they fix the damage over the next couple of days (you would be surprised on how often this happens).
Third, it allows your personal injury attorney to rebut the insurance adjuster’s argument that this was “low impact” or that the crash report indicated that your vehicle showed “limited/no damage” (this argument is made in almost every case – crash reports are inadmissible at trial).
Finally, in the event of contested liability, pictures are a thousand times better than words and could serve to rebut the at-fault driver’s “story” that he/she was not liable (i.e. “you drove into him”, “couldn’t have received front end damage, etc.).
Should you give the pictures to the at-fault insurance agent
You should retain an experienced personal injury attorney to act as an advocate on your behalf.
Do not discuss anything with the at-fault insurance adjuster.
Your personal injury attorney will determine what pictures to send the insurance company and at the appropriate time. The personal injury attorneys in Plantation at Lyons, Snyder & Collin, work on a contingency fee basis – we collect ONLY if you collect.
If we do not collect, you owe us NOTHING.
Call one of our experienced personal injury attorneys today – the consultation is free.