January 7, 2021 | thryv Many people end up in a state of shock after a car accident and aren’t sure what to do. It’s important to prioritize the safety of you and those around you first. Get yourself and your passengers to safety if possible and contact the police right away, even if you don’t think anyone was injured. Once everyone is safe and the police are on their way, one of the best things you can do is take as many pictures of the accident as possible. Why Photos Are Important Pictures of the accident scene and aftermath show exactly what damage occurred as a result of the accident, and they can even help determine how the accident occurred and who was at fault. Photographs of the accident scene, property damage, and any injuries make it easier for you to prove damage and injuries when you file an insurance claim. If you or anyone else in your vehicle is injured due to an accident, photos provide important evidence if you decide to take the case to court to try to get compensation for your medical expenses, lost wages, and pain and suffering. What to Photograph The most important things to photograph after a car accident are your vehicle, yourself, and any passengers you had with you. Take pictures that show the details of any damage to your vehicle, internal or external. Document the weather and road conditions with photos as well. Look for skid marks, any hazards in the road, and nearby road signs or traffic signals to show how the accident might have happened. If possible, take pictures of any other damaged vehicles involved in the crash, the other driver, and any witnesses, along with their vehicles and license plates, if possible. Photograph injuries as soon as possible after they happen, after you initially receive medical treatment, and at various points during the healing process to show the severity and healing progression. How to Take Photos of an Accident You can use any dedicated camera or device that has a camera to take photos at the scene of an accident. Phones and tablets are good devices to use since they typically show the correct date and time associated with each picture. Some phones and tablets also tag photos with geographical information to show where you were when the photos were taken. Take photos from different angles and varying distances to capture details up close and show a larger picture of the accident scene from far away. It’s best to take photos of each area of damage from at least three different angles or distances. Try to keep a large landmark in the background of your photos to show the distance and scale of each picture. You can use a coin or dollar bill in close up photos of injuries and vehicle damage. If your phone or camera offers wide angle or panoramic shots, take as large of a picture as your device will allow that encompasses as much of the vehicles and surrounding scene as possible to show the overall view to the insurance company, your lawyer, and anyone else involved in your claim who was not present when the accident occurred. Take note of the weather and lighting conditions and use the flash if necessary. If you have time, take each photo with and without a flash so you can choose the best one to show to the insurance company, your lawyer, or the court. If you’ve been injured in a car accident, it’s best to seek advice from an experienced personal injury attorney as soon as you can. Personal injury law can be complicated, and a lawyer can help you make sure you don’t miss deadlines for paperwork and help you present your case in the most favorable way possible. The Jaklitsch Law Firm represents personal injury victims in Prince George’s County, Maryland, and surrounding areas. If you’ve been injured in a car accident, contact us today for a free consultation to discuss your case.