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They can reveal key information about fault, damages, and injuries
Taking good photos of the accident is critical for many reasons. If you are at the scene, then you have a great opportunity to snap pictures of damages, positioning of the vehicles, tire marks etc.
However, if you are not able to take accident photos the day of the accident, you probably should come back and try to get some.
This is particularly important if there is something at the scene that “contributed” to your accident. A pothole on the road is a good example.
Many times, construction crews leave their worksites without marking their work area. After an accident, they are quick about marking the site.
People can modify the scene of an accident in their favor. However, if you have some good accident photos, you can defeat any argument.
If you are involved in a winter accident, then you absolutely need pictures. The marks on the snow will melt away. You must be able to show your evidence.
If you are not able to get to take photographs at the accident scene, then do the next best thing. Go back to the scene (if you can) and snap some pictures.
If the accident was at night, then take pictures at night and on the daytime. The night pictures will show how the street is illuminated, the daytime pictures will show if there was anyway the vehicles could see each other prior to the impact.
The important thing to remember is that you need pictures from all four angles (in an intersection scenario).
You also need pictures of the corners of the intersection to show any obstructions in visibility (under the fault heading you will see why this is important).
The following pictures are examples I believe display the scene of an accident pretty well. These pictures were taken the day after the accident.
The last two pictures show a tree and a vehicle parked on the side of the road. There could be a good argument regarding one driver not being able to see in that intersection due to the parking area and the tree.
This is hypothetical but it shows my point. You must show the lines on the road (dotted yellow), the signs posted (two stop signs), and any obstructions on the road (tree and parked car).
Also, pictures of the damage to the vehicle (all vehicles involved if possible) are very helpful. This is very important to show damages, but even more important to show injuries.
Adjusters will tell you that the property damages (damages to your car) have nothing to do with the injury. They are settling for the pain to your neck, not for the damages to your car.
This is not true.
The insurance company is trying to settle for less than they have to pay in a judgment.
If you have accident photos showing your damage, like the pictures below, then a jury might very well be persuaded that the impact was significant enough to create a soft tissue injury (no broken bones).
But what do you do if you cannot go back to the scene? If the accident occurs in a different town, then how can you acquire accident photos or photos from the scene?
This is not an uncommon scenario. The best advice I can give you is to visit Google Earth, click here for this amazing free program that will give you the ability to have a satellite picture of any road or intersection in the United States or Canada (and a lot more countries).
You will be surprised of the details of some of the satellite pictures. Google Earth can also show you if the road curves making it hard to see ahead. It can also show you the layout of a parking lot.
The following Google Satellite Picture shows the same accident scene of the pictures above.
I tried to optimize the picture so it loads faster on this webpage. The quality however has suffered significantly. If you visit this program you will be surprised.
Also note that the satellite picture is a little behind in time, and this neighborhood has built many homes in the last 12 months. Most neighborhoods do not experience this type of growth, making Google Earth a great tool for you.
The next thing you can do is to get a map from Google Maps. The Street View will “show” a virtual picture that you can move in both directions, see below.
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1. Recorded Statement
2. Police Report
3. Overlay Sheet (Interpretation of Police Reports)
4. Accident Photos
5. Accident Diagrams
6. Accident Videos
7. Vehicle Damage Estimate
8. Length of Time of the Auto Insurance Claim
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