Should You Take Pictures Quickly After Your Car Crash?

 

If you’re thinking of taking pictures for your own records to use as evidence when filing your injury claim against the negligent driver, you definitely should. They tell the story and are valuable to your attorney for submitting an accurate compensation claim against the driver’s insurance company. But if you’re thinking about keeping your friends up-to-speed on your Facebook, Instagram or other social media, that’s not a very smart idea. You could destroy your chances of winning compensation before your claim is even filed.

 

Your first priorities are to check your condition, that of your passengers and those in the other vehicle(s); notify EMTs if someone needs immediate medical attention, and call police. In the midst of all this post-accident bedlam, it’s not unusual to forget to take accident photos. But it’s vital to the success of your claim.

 

Many fail to photograph the accident scene because they’re in a daze, or even in shock. Others neglect to do this because they are unaware of how powerful the evidence their car accident photos can be. Many times our clients’ car accident pictures, documenting their injuries and property damage, make the difference in their successful insurance claim.

 

Tips for Taking Accident Scene Photos

 

Smartphone cameras are perfect for recording visual accident scene evidence. Take a lot so you and your attorney can sort through your “evidence” later. You should take pictures/videos of all of the following:

 

·        The damage to your car as well as any damaged property in it (such as your laptop computer or any other items you were transporting)

·        The other cars involved in the accident, and their damage

·        Any skid marks which document the paths of the vehicles -- just don’t forget to visually match up skid marks with the corresponding vehicle

·        Any vehicle parts, shattered glass, or other debris in the road

·        The complete accident site (to include the intersection or location)

·        The location/condition of stop signs, traffic signals or other road signs that are part of the accident scene

·        Any weather conditions which may have contributed to the accident, such as slick or icy roads

·        Any visible bodily injuries to you, your passengers, and – if feasible and with their consent – other injured people from the wreck.

 

Try to take pictures from at least three different angles and distances. For close-up photographs, try to take a close-up from a distance of three to five feet from the subject, then one from medium distance (10 to 15 feet away) and long distance or panoramic photographs (from 20 or more feet away). This gives your pictures depth and the ability to tell a more complete story.

 

Best Practices for Social Media after You are Involved in an Accident – Don’t!

 

Social media posts can hobble your personal injury claim because evidence which the negligent driver’s insurance company gathers from your posts can be used as evidence against you -- especially your comments. Insurance companies are very good at turning harmless comments made by injured plaintiffs against them.  Social media just makes it easier.

 

This is why posting anything online after you are injured in an accident caused by a negligent driver can endanger your claim. Even if you think they’re nothing more than harmless posts, or may not be related to your injury, why give your opponents ANY evidence to use against you?

 

After your accident, the smartest move is to temporarily suspend all of your social media activity. At the very least, reset your account to “private,” and then don’t accept any new friend requests until the final resolution of your claim. You should also ask friends and family members to refrain from posting anything related to your accident, be sure to do this through the “messenger” function rather than posting a general request.

 

It’s hard NOT to keep those who know and care about your health and well-being updated.  But the best way to keep those who count – whom you trust – in the loop is to do so by phone or email, and only on a need-to-know basis.

 

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