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Q: What should I take pictures of at the scene of my car accident?

A:

They say a picture is worth a thousand words, but in the case of a car accident, we’d venture to guess that it says a lot more. In the heat of the moment, minutes after your collision, you may not be thinking or speaking clearly to give a reliable and accurate report to the police. Your camera, on the other hand, remains a silent and accurate witness, regardless of the situation.

At the scene of your accident, you will likely see the responding police officer writing an accident report and taking pictures. While you will be able to access these photos for your case at a later date, it is absolutely crucial that you take your own photos of the crash. Your attorney will be able to use these pictures to help build a solid case in your favor, which will be important as you move through the claims process.

The Key Things to Keep in Mind While Snapping Photos

The purpose of these photos is to provide clear evidence of what happened in your car accident. You don’t need to be a professional photographer to take compelling and informative pictures—in fact, the camera on your phone is preferable to a regular camera, as it can tag each photo with a date and time.

When taking pictures, try to capture the full story of the accident scene. Even minor details can be critical to your case, so leave nothing out. Be sure to take several pictures of key evidence (such as the vehicles involved and scene) from different angles and distances to capture as much information as possible.

What to Photograph At Your Accident Scene

Many people assume that they only need to take photos of the vehicles involved in the crash, but there is a lot more to painting a detailed picture than just the vehicles in question. Below is a list of a few of the things you will want to include in your photos:

  • Damage to your car, property, and any other cars involved
  • Where the accident took place
  • Skid marks related to your crash
  • Debris
  • Injuries you sustained
  • Road conditions
  • Weather at the time of the accident

If other important details may have played a part in your accident, such as a concealed stop sign or malfunctioning traffic light, be sure to include pictures of each.

Jot Down Some Notes

As soon as you are able to, write down a detailed account of the accident, and label appropriate pictures. This can help ensure that you have a clear report of what happened, which can help you in the coming weeks and months as you speak with insurance adjusters and your attorney. To learn more about the car accident injury claim process in Pennsylvania, browse our collection of articles on the subject.

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