In this era when we take photos of just about everything we do and eat on a daily basis, it is interesting to note that many people forget to take pictures after they have been in a vehicle accident. This is somewhat understandable, given the stress of an accident scene, possible injury that can cloud the mind and the adrenaline rush that causes you to forget the initial steps that you know you should take after an accident.
People involved in car accidents need to do what has come naturally for many of them—take photos that can be instantly uploaded in any number of forums. These photos will be very important for these reasons:
- Many accidents are disputed as participants try to decide who was at fault. Very few people are willing to admit that they were at fault initially, and most car accident lawyers advise their clients to not make any statements about the incident and fault. Some accident scenes are clear-cut regarding fault, but many others are not. Photographic evidence is a powerful proof in a court of law, especially when the photos are clear and detailed.
- In many states, there are laws requiring cars that have been in accidents to be pulled off the road so that traffic is not obstructed. In other words, the accident scene can be compromised quite quickly. In this event, photos taken right after the accident might be the only evidence of what the scene looked like just after it occurred. In states with “steer and clear” laws, you are required to move your car out of the way of other vehicles. Photos take on an even great importance in such cases, especially if the two parties involved do not agree on what happened, a frequent occurrence when thousands of dollars are on the line. Snap a picture or five before you get back in your car and move it. Try to find the best angles to prove who hit whom.
- If you do not have a camera or a cell phone that takes photos (very rare these days), having witnesses take photos can accomplish two objectives for you. You can get the photos of the accident scene that you need, and you can enlist witnesses that also might help you if your case goes to court. Make arrangements to have the pictures sent to you and get the witnesses’ personal information in case you need their help at a later date. Most cell phones can send the photos to you instantaneously. The third-party, objective perspective will prove valuable in court, as photos are examined that were snapped randomly by someone who was not involved in the accident.
If you do not have a device that can take photos and no witnesses are around, look at the traffic light poles (especially at intersections), nearby gas stations and convenience stores and any other types of businesses that might have cameras rolling. These, too, can be a source of photographic evidence of what occurred.
Once you have fully exploited all possible sources of pictures, don’t forget to try and enlist as many witnesses as possible to help clarify what occurred, if your case reaches the court room. Even photos can be misleading or not tell the entire story. A photo plus a witness corroborating your testimony of innocence will pack a lot of punch in court.