There is a very short window of opportunity following a vehicular collision in which to document the nature and extent of the damage caused by the collision. In the age of camera cell phones, it makes a lot of sense then, to take as many photos of the accident scene as possible, safety permitting. The reason why we ask injured persons to take photographs, if possible, immediately following an accident is so that the photographs may later be used in support of any personal injury medical, legal, or insurance claim/s which may arise from it.
Take for instance, the vehicle that is rear ended by a careless driver. There may be significant damage to the vehicle, or it might have but a mere scratch. If the vehicle is thereafter taken to a body shop and repaired, and made to look as new, without photos of the damage, how can one be expected to ever convey to the insurance company adjuster involved in the claim the true nature and extent of the loss? Was there a major collision, or just a slight “love tap” to the bumper? Sure, repair bills can be and are submitted as documentation of loss in such cases, but wouldn’t a picture of the actual damage be better?
You cannot trust that the body shop, or even the insurance company adjuster will take photographs of the damage, as frequently, they do not. Should the accident ever have to be explained to a jury for example, pictures of the accident can convey much more effectively, exactly what happened, as opposed to say, a person’s vague recollection of the events. All of that said, do not ever put yourself in harm’s way simply to take a picture at a crash scene! Your safety comes first. Also, if you have been injured in the accident, do not attempt to take pictures if your injuries would prevent you from doing so safely.
On the subject of photographs, try to make them as clear as possible. Take as many as you can, and take them from as many angles and perspectives as you can. These pictures may one day “be worth a thousand words.” Remember however, that once a vehicle is repaired, or even declared a total loss and removed by the towing company, that window of opportunity closes, and taking pictures is no longer possible. So take them when you can.
If you have been injured and you would like to show your photographs to experienced truck accident or car accident attorneys for an opinion in your case, give us a call. We would be happy to look at your documentation and share our thoughts on the case with you, free of charge. Contact our Jacksonville Office or call (904) 355-2700 today.