You may wonder if photographing your car accident can help or hurt your personal injury claim. With the right photographs, you can document the road conditions, damage to your vehicle, and the injuries on your body.
If you’ve already left the scene of the crash, you can still capture important evidence in a photograph.
In today’s video, Burlington, VT car accident lawyer, Drew Palcsik covers what you need about how photographing your car accident can help or hurt your insurance claim.
Photographing Your Car Accident
Hey, it’s Drew from Champlain Valley Law. In this video, we’re going to discuss how taking photographs can both help and hurt your personal injury claim after a car crash. Whether it was in Burlington or any of the surrounding towns.
Now when I say photographs, I mean video as well.
Nearly everybody these days with a cell phone has a high-quality recording device within easy reach after a car accident. Use it correctly, and you’ll have some great evidence to make sure that you get paid fairly at the end of the day.
The Importance of Photographing Your Car Accident
It’s often said that a picture is worth a thousand words, and that’s true when it comes to an injury case as well. Images of the aftermath of a terrible accident can not only accurately show what happened but can have an emotional appeal as well.
There was a time where taking pictures after our car crashed was looked down upon as though you were trying to make things look worse than they were, but nowadays cameras are everywhere, and it would be unusual not to capture images after you’ve been in a car accident.
Even if you’ve driven your car home already or it’s been towed from the scene of the crash, you can still take effective pictures that will be admissible into evidence in a court of law.
So, here are a few tips that will help you make the most of your pictures.
How to Take Pictures Of Your Crash
If you’re still at the scene of the crash, safety first, please.
Make sure everybody’s okay and don’t further endanger yourself or anyone else just so you can take some pictures.
If you have a passenger who was not injured in the crash, he or she should be the photographer. Any pictures or video was taken at the scene of the accident should include:
- the relative position of the vehicles involved
- the road surface
- the weather conditions if they’re going to be important
- And you should also include any other details that might be lost once the scene is cleared
Be sure that when you take your pictures, you do it in a way that gives some scale to what we’re seeing.
Many people take pictures that are way too close to the object for the viewer to understand what he or she is looking at. Try to get multiple photos and from different angles if you can. Take pictures of any damage done to the vehicle both inside and outside, and if the airbags are deployed, get a picture of that as well.
Now, if you’re taking a video, make sure the clip is at least four seconds long and use your words to explain to the viewer what he or she is looking at. But you have to remember that not all pictures are going to be helpful to your case.
Photos You Should Avoid
Here are a few things that you need to be careful about.
Number one, minor damage to the car. If your car suffered only a few dings or scratches, please don’t take any pictures of the car. The defense is entitled to see all of the pictures that you take, and the insurance company will love these. They like nothing better than to argue to a jury that minimal damage to the car means minimal damage to the people inside it.
Number two, be cautious about what’s in the video or pictures that you’re taking. Many people take a flurry of photographs after a crash without much thought as to what’s actually in the pictures themselves. It’s an unfortunate reality that people will judge the entire picture, not just what you’re trying to show them.
A cell phone propped up on the dashboard or empty cans rolling around in the car can give the wrong impression. Now I’m not suggesting that you move things around to give a false sense of what happened, only that you should, whenever possible see things through the eyes of insurance companies and defense lawyers who want to avoid paying you fairly for your claim.
Takeaways From Today’s Video
So your takeaway from today’s video should be this, photos and video taken of your car accident at or near the time of the crash can be incredibly valuable to your case. But they must be done properly and with a bit of care. On the other hand, photos that show little or no property damage or which allow the defense to depict you in a negative light can sink your case.
I hope you found today’s video helpful. If you did please like and subscribe to our channel. And if there’s anything that you’d like to hear more about let us know in the comments section below. Thanks for watching. We’ll see you next time.