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Legal Professionals of Fanelli, Evans & Patel, P.C

Using your camera as an ally after a wreck

Have you ever heard the saying, “A picture is worth a thousand words?” Well, when it comes to a car accident claim, a picture can actually be worth thousands of dollars.

Car accidents happen so fast that it can be difficult for the people involved to remember what happened, and insurance companies sometimes try to exploit that fact to devalue a claim. Photographic evidence, when you are capable of obtaining it, can be very useful. That’s why accident victims and witnesses are generally encouraged to take photos after a crash.

Where should you start? Put your smartphone’s camera to good use in the following ways.

Take broad shots of all the vehicles involved

Whether you’re involved in an accident with just one other vehicle or several, try to get photos of them all from various angles. The goal is to get an overview of their positions relative to each other. Photos from the front, back and sides of the scene can be very useful if an accident reconstruction expert needs to be involved later.

Get close-ups of the actual damage

Details do matter, especially when there’s an insurance claim involved. Try to get close-up shots of the damaged vehicles – including their insides (if you can see them). Interior damage and deployed airbags indicate an accident was more serious.

Take shots of the street and surroundings

Is there debris from the wreck in the middle of the street? Can you see skid marks where you or the other driver applied the brakes? Are the roads snowy or wet? What are the traffic conditions? Images of these can provide significant clues about the sequence of events that led up to the wreck.

Take photos of any obvious injuries

If you or your passengers have suffered injuries, take photos as soon as possible. Continue to document the injuries throughout the healing process as you recover, since that can help establish their severity and the extent of your suffering.

If you aren’t able to take photos yourself after a wreck, hand your phone to a passenger who is in better shape or a Good Samaritan who offers to help. Learning more about your legal options can also be helpful as you pursue a claim for compensation.