In the aftermath of a car accident, the moments will seem chaotic and scary. Once there’s a second to catch your breath and the dust has settled, you’ll want to start trying to think through what your next move should be. After safely exiting the vehicle, ensuring everyone is alright, and getting to a safer location, wait for the authorities to arrive and try to remember to take pictures of both vehicles.
Often times the shock and terror is too much and drivers don’t think to take pictures of the damage done to the vehicles, but this is an extremely important part of accidents and can be crucial later on. When it comes to making an insurance claim later on, photographs of the actual accident can play a vital part and end up being a make or break your claim.
What do the pictures show?
- Proof of cause. While this isn’t always the case, a picture can help to decipher a contributing factor of an accident and will document the extent of all physical damages to the vehicles.
- Details. Not only are cosmetic damages of the vehicle important to document, but also the surrounding areas. Traffic signs, property damage, bodily harm, and whoever else was present at the scene can all help your claim. During a chaotic moment like a car accident, your memory isn’t going to be the most trustworthy.
What do I take pictures of?
- Any and all property damage. Whether it be the vehicles, a tree, a house, or a street sign document it all.
- Your own injuries. This you’ll want to do as soon as possible after they happened. Sometimes you’ll need to wait a few days (things like bruises don’t set in for about 24 hours) and as they appear to be noticeable, you should document them.
- Everyone else. This includes witnesses, police offices, and the other driver. You may not be able to remember all of the sordid details later on so best to document them now in case you need to talk to them later on in your claim or in case your attorney needs to find them.