You have probably heard more than once you need to take pictures after a car accident. After “keep calm,” this is probably the most common car accident advice that you can get from experts. Just because everyone says it, does not take away from its importance. Taking pictures after a car accident can make all the difference when it comes to receiving full and fair compensation after a car accident. Not only would an experienced local Mississippi personal injury lawyer tell you that this is what you need to do, insurance companies also recommend it.
Pictures Can Help Prove What Happened
When you file a claim after a car accident, your bedrock obligation is that you need to show who was responsible. Your best hope is that you have one or more witnesses who can testify that another driver’s actions caused the accident. This option is not always available to you because some accidents occur with no witnesses, or people simply drive away.
Further, while a police report may be helpful for an insurance claim, the report’s value is limited if the other driver is not ticketed for a traffic offense. This is why you need other evidence that can help the accident investigators do their job and prove that you have a right to compensation because of someone else’s negligent acts.
Without his type of evidence, you may be stuck in a situation where it is your word against the other driver’s. Your insurance company may not fight for you as hard as they should as you seek compensation. Alternatively, the two insurance companies may be at a standstill over who is responsible. Either way, it helps to have more than just your word when you file the claim with the insurance company or go to court with a personal injury lawsuit.
How Pictures Help Your Claim for Car Accident Compensation
Now that we know it is a good idea to take pictures, let’s look at why they are helpful. In any car accident case, one has the right to be compensated if he can prove the other driver was negligent. “Negligence” just means not honoring the duty we all have to follow the safety rules that are designed to keep us all safe from injury or death while on our roads. Pictures can help demonstrate negligence in several ways.
One of the most important parts of any negligence analysis is whether a driver acted unreasonably under the circumstances. Specifically, you would need to demonstrate that the driver was careless or did something wrong.
- Pictures of skid marks or the lack of them on the ground can tell accident investigators whether drivers made an effort to stop.
- Pictures that show the location of car parts and where the cars involved in the wreck ended up can help show where the accident and impact happened. The angle of the cars can help prove which driver was responsible.
- Pictures that record weather conditions at the time of the wreck can help play an important part in recreating the accident. It is one thing to say that it was very rainy, another thing to have a picture proving it.
- Pictures can demonstrate the extent and location of damage on each driver’s vehicle, and can help explain the mechanics of physical injuries.
- Photographs of the drivers and passengers involved in the wreck can help document the identity of witnesses, as well as evidence of injuries at the scene.
You Might Otherwise Lose Valuable Evidence
Documenting the accident scene at the time that the incident occurred is always the best time that you can get these pictures. The more time passes, the less of a chance that you can get a persuasive and accurate picture of what happened. The scene is cleared often less than an hour after the crash, as the roadway needs to return to normal. Once this evidence is lost, you can never get it back. You may also need these pictures to disprove something inaccurate that another driver is claiming.
Another very important reason to take pictures is that many cameras today, such as the camera in your smart phone, automatically give a time and date stamp to the pictures, similar to metadata on your computer. This will help pin down the time of the wreck, which may be important for a variety of reasons. You might even be able to prove an exact location for the accident through a cell phone picture.
If You Cannot Take Pictures, Have Someone Else Do It
Of course, if you have been seriously hurt in an accident, you may not have the ability to take pictures at the scene. This does not subtract from the importance of this documentary evidence.
If there are witnesses or anyone else gathered at the scene of the accident, you can ask them to take pictures of the accident scene before the evidence is cleared. A family member who comes to the scene of the accident can also take photographs to document what happened. The important thing is that you have concrete proof of what happened.
Contact a local Biloxi, Mississippi Personal Injury Attorney
At Van Cleave Law, we fight for accident victims to receive the justice they are legally entitled to after their injury. The sooner that you contact us, the quicker we can get to work. As you can see, you must act with some urgency because evidence is harder to gather the more time passes after an accident. Call us today at (228)432-7826 or contact us online to schedule your free initial consultation. We have recovered over $150 million in compensation for our clients and have been helping Mississippi accident victims and their families for more than twenty years.