Disposable or Cellphone Camera
Items to Keep in Your Trunk in Case of an Auto Accident
In order to successfully obtain a car accident settlement or win a car accident lawsuit, you will need plenty of evidence that proves that you were not at fault for the crash, and that your injuries would not have been incurred but for the actions of another driver. While there are myriad types of evidence that you can collect to aid you in this quest–such as the opinions of accident reconstruction experts and proof of physical damage to your vehicle–one of the best types of evidence is photographic. As the old adage goes, a picture is worth 1,000 words. In order to ensure that you’re prepared in the event of an accident, carrying a cellphone that has a good camera (and a portable charger) or keeping a disposable camera in your trunk is a great idea.
Why Are Photos So Important?
Unlike witness testimony, physical damage (which often shows damage but leaves how the damage occurred open to interpretation), and even experts’ opinions, photographic evidence is incredibly hard to dispute. A photograph can offer solid proof of how an accident occurred or the damages that resulted from the crash. When you are filing a claim for damages and trying to prove that the other driver was at fault or you’re trying to substantiate the degree of damages you’ve suffered, photo evidence can be key.
When Do I Need to Take Photos?
Taking photos immediately after the accident is a must. Ideally, your photos will be time- and date-stamped as well. If you wait too long to take photos of damages, such as a scratch on your car or a large laceration on your body, the insurance company may try to argue that these damages were not related to the accident.
Taking photos can also be useful immediately after the accident to capture things like:
- The weather and lighting at the time of crash;
- Traffic signs in the area;
- Witnesses and nearby businesses;
- Position of vehicles immediately upon impact;
- Airbag deployment;
- The other driver’s information, including car license plate number, registration number, insurance information, and driver’s license number;
- Skid marks and road debris; and
- Any other relevant evidence types.
Using Photos to Win Your Claim
It is also a good idea to take photos at a later date, too. For example, as your injuries heal over the weeks following your car accident, you should consider taking photos to document the progress and to demonstrate to the insurance company the amount of time for which you’ve been affected by your injuries.
Submitting photos with your claim as part of evidence is typically a smart idea. You should speak with your lawyer about which photos should be shared with the insurance company, and when. Your attorney can organize your photos in a skilled manner in order to bolster your claim.
Remember, the key part is to have a camera ready to take pictures. Without a disposable or cellphone camera, you will miss out on the chance to collect this very valuable evidence type.