After an accident, and if you are able, try to take photographs of every vehicle that was involved in the accident. If you have the energy at the scene of the accident and you have a camera or perhaps a cell phone that has a camera in it, take pictures – but not only of your vehicle. I have a lot of clients who bring me lots of pictures of their vehicle only. That’s fine, and that’s very helpful. However, if you can, take pictures of all the other vehicles that were involved in the accident as well.
Also, try to take pictures from several different angles because a picture is a static image. It’s two-dimensional, and sometimes it’s very difficult to assess the damage simply by looking at it from one angle. If you are viewing the vehicle damage with your own eyes, you have three-dimensional ability, and you can assess the damage a little bit better. So if you're taking a photograph, make sure to take photographs from several different angles so that you better tell the story. Also take photos in different lighting conditions because some damage may be harder to see in different light. Try to make sure your reflection or shadow isn't in the photo. That can be distracting when you are trying to convey the extent of damage. You want the insurance adjuster to understand this was more than a simple parking lot tap to your car, and the best way to do that is through photographs that really tell your story.
If you don’t have photographs, it’s tough to convince a jury or an adjuster or anybody else of the severity of the impact. Pictures really do tell a thousand words. So to the extent that you can, take many photographs. If your vehicle has already been towed to a yard, see if you can get to that yard or have a friend or a family member go to that yard and take some pictures of your vehicle. The more the merrier. There really is no limit. At the end of the day, the photos you take should be designed to convey your story to the insurance adjuster.
by Robert Mansour
Robert Mansour is a personal injury lawyer serving Santa Clarita, Valencia,