In a Car Accident? Here’s What Pictures to Take At the Scene

No one plans for a car accident to happen, but many of us will experience one at some point. It’s a good idea to be knowledgeable ahead of time about what you should do at the scene of a crash.

One of the most important steps you can take to preserve evidence is also a simple one: take pictures. Today we’ll explore some of the types of pictures that may be most useful. While we hope you won’t need it, we encourage you to bookmark this post or print it out and save it in your glovebox.

Before you Take Pictures: a Word of Caution

Before we dive into this topic, we have a caveat. (We’re lawyers, what can we say?) Your health and safety always come first!

Sometimes, the safest place for you to be immediately after an accident is in your vehicle until help arrives. Walking around the accident scene to take photos could put you in danger of being hit a second time. This is particularly true if the accident is in a busy intersection or freeway. No amount of money or extra evidence is worth your safety. So please, exercise caution and good judgment.

Tips for Taking Accident Scene Pictures

If it is safe to do so, taking pictures can help tell a story about what happened to support your claim. And don’t worry about having any sort of fancy camera; your phone will work fine.

Here are a few tips to consider:

  • Take pictures as soon as safely possible: Don’t wait for the police to arrive – by then, the position of the cars and other critical evidence may have changed.
  • Capture both closeup and distance photos: Use objects to show scale. For smaller objects, place a coin or key in the photo. For larger scenes, have a person stand in the shot.
  • Use a variety of flash and no-flash settings: Taking photos with a variety of lighting settings can reveal different details.
  • Think 360°: If you’re able, take photos that depict the scene 360 degrees around the accident.

Not in a position to take photos? Ask a passenger or witness to assist.

Pictures to Take Following an Accident

When it comes to accident scenes, the more pictures, the better. It’s always better to err on the side of more than less.

Here is a list of photos we suggest you take:

  • Position of the cars
  • Damage to the cars, including tires
  • Interior of your vehicle, including deployed airbags, if any
  • Your injuries (photograph throughout the treatment and recovery process as well)
  • Odometer
  • Road around scene, including skid marks or debris
  • Documents from other driver, such as driver’s license and insurance card
  • Road conditions
  • Traffic or road signs
  • Weather or environmental conditions
  • Any suspected contributory factor to the accident
  • Surrounding businesses (it’s possible they may have exterior cameras which captured video of the accident)

There is a short window of time to gather this valuable evidence, so remember, the more photos you take, the better.

A Free, Valuable Resource for Car Accident Victims

One of our attorneys, Erik Ladenburg, has compiled many of the questions he gets asked about car accidents and addressed them in a book called What Insurance Companies Don’t Want You To Know.

This ebook covers everything from what to do at the scene of an accident to how to handle phone calls from the insurance agent and more.

We’d like to offer this resource to you at no cost. Please request your copy by filling out the short form and we’ll send it by email.

Need More Help? Call us for a Free Consultation

Our team has decades of experience helping victims of car accidents through the claims process and win fair settlements. There’s no fee to talk with one of our attorneys to learn more. We also work on a contingency basis which means you only pay us if we win you a settlement.

Contact us today.

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