When dealing with an insurance company or attorney’s office after a car accident, you will inevitably be asked to provide photographs depicting damage to your vehicle and any other vehicles involved in the accident, photographs of all bodily injuries sustained, and any and all additional photos taken at the scene. On occasion, photos will be taken by police officers, but that is rare. However, don’t rely on others – you should take some of your own. In fact, take tons, and from many different angles, so that everyone from a lay person to an accident reconstructionist will have an easier time forming an accurate picture. The reason you have to take photos from different angles is because photos are only two dimensional and sometimes it's hard to fully appreciate the extent of damages if you only take a couple of photos. Also, take some close ups and take some from further distance to show the entire car.
If taking photos at the scene, make sure to take pictures of skid marks. Skid marks are faint imprints left on the road by tires during the braking process, before the tires actually skid. These marks only remain visible for 24-48 hours. A photograph of impending skid marks leading into actual skid marks provides an accident reconstructionist with the necessary perspective to determine the speed of the braking car. A photo of a measurable object, such as a shoe, beside an impending skid mark will make distances more clear.
Obviously, having a camera on hand is very important. You might want to consider keeping a disposable camera in your glove compartment or with your road hazard kit in case of an accident. You can never take too many photos of the damage or the scene.
by Robert Mansour
Robert Mansour is a personal injury lawyer serving Santa Clarita, Valencia, Saugus, Canyon Country, Newhall, Stevenson Ranch, Castaic and surrounding communities.