They say a picture is worth a thousand words, but when it comes to filing an insurance claim, it can be more than a thousand dollars. How much detail and effort you put into documenting a car accident scene can either make or break your auto insurance claim. If there’ll be any arguments or disputes related to liability1 or damages, the car accident pictures will come in handy in helping you to prove your case.
That said, here’s a comprehensive guide on how to take photos of an accident to help with car insurance claims2.
Taking Car Accident Photos like A Pro
You might realize how collecting evidence at the scene of an accident is significant to building a strong case for your car insurance claim. It doesn’t matter if you intend to seek compensation from another driver’s insurance policy3 or claim from yours. When you take pictures for insurance companies, you’ll be proving factual evidence on who was at fault and the severity of the damages.
With that, here are some guidelines on how to take pictures of a car accident:
- When you take a picture on your phone, you automatically record when you captured it. Nonetheless, if you’re using a digital camera, make sure you include the time stamp feature to help in validating the time when the collision occurred.
- Before you snap away, make sure that you check the lighting conditions – both the natural and artificial sources. For the best exposure, ensure that the source of light shines at the subject and not directly into your camera lens. If the accident occurred at night, make sure that you use the flash setting since it can be challenging to take good shots. Under the wrong lighting, it might be hard to tell car colours apart.
- When you start taking the car accident pictures, make sure that you step back from the scene and take a wide-angle shot4 to place things relative to one another rather than a series of close-up shots. By doing this, you can show, for instance, that the accident took place at an intersection and also indicate the automobile’s positions and proximity to one another at the time of the crash. The overall view will put your finer details in context, thus helping in making more sense to the insurance firm.
- Once you’ve captured the car accident pics at a distance, now you can move on to the surroundings. Make sure that you photograph the traffic lights, stop signs and other road signs if any are present. These road signs and indicators will help the auto insurance companies to determine if the signs played any role in the accident. When they’re conducting their investigation, the insurance firm will consider the road conditions, the weather at the time and the visibility rate at the time of the accident. Thus, you’ll also have to record any potholes, construction equipment, heavy rain, fog, snow, and even the position of the sun.
- When you’re done with the environmental issues, now you have to capture all the interior and exterior damages to your vehicle and the other vehicle (s) involved with the collision. You’ll also have to record any destruction to property, damaged road signs and walls. When taking pictures of the other vehicles, ensure that you also capture the number plate and the make and model of the car in the shot.
- Make sure that you also capture any debris scattered on the road like broken glass or even a bumper. If the crash occurred due to the other driver’s negligence like if he/she ignored the speed limit sign, make sure that you prove he /she was travelling faster than it’s permitted. Capturing even the skid marks on the road will help in supporting this claim.
- Ensure that you also capture all the car accident victims. You’ll, therefore, have to ensure that you record the identification of the other driver, their passengers and any witnesses. You should also consider taking photos of the police, traffic officers and paramedics who responded to the crash as well as their cars.
- Ensure that you tactfully capture photos of any injured persons placed on a gurney and into the ambulance. You’ll have to highlight the injuries sustained by yourself, the at-fault-driver, the passengers and any wounded pedestrians. If it’s possible, and when the injured person agrees, ensure you record details of the injuries like any cuts, abrasions, bleeding, bruises and broken bones.
Car accident scene pictures show proof of the cause of the crash, the contributing factors that may have played a role in the accident, and the extent of damages that your car, you, or other driver incurred due to the impact of the collision. So ensure that you:
- Take photos of any property damage
- Capture pictures of the incurred injuries
- Document any traffic signs and road indicators available
- Record any witnesses, traffic officers, paramedics, police and the other driver
- Capture the surroundings
- Snap away – take more photos than you think you’ll need
- Ensure that the time/date stamp is correct
Photographic and video evidence of an accident scene helps in increasing the credibility and financial value of your insurance claim.
The pictures also assist in proving the other driver’s liability for damages.
Capturing photos of the crash scene and other details surrounding the accident is an incredible way of preserving evidence of the collision.
The pictures come in handy when dealing with the insurers, and they’ll be a significant asset if a personal injury lawsuit is filed due to the accident.
You capture the scene from close-ups and wide-angle shots. These angles help in identifying what vehicles’ the broken glass and bumpers came from.
Taking accident images will help in making your case stronger and bring you a step closer to getting your insurance claim. So ensure that you go snap-crazy. The more car accident photos you take, the more useful they can be, and when the insurer asks a question regarding your insurance claim or legal case, your best answer will be “I have a photo of that”, which also protects you against people driving without car insurance. In any case, the photographed evidence never lies!