Taking Pictures After A Car Accident:
“Taking pictures after a car accident or a car wreck is a huge help for you”.
When you are in a car wreck, the first thing you are thinking about is the well-being of yourself and your passengers. Clearly, everyone’s health is the most important thing in the immediate aftermath of the accident.
However, the second thing you should be thinking about is your legal rights. Even if you or your passengers may not feel any pain after an accident and may not be thinking about a personal injury case immediately, many people start feeling bad in the hours and days following a wreck once their adrenaline wears off.
So, a question we are frequently asked is “What should I do once I have called the police and made sure everyone is, ok?”
First – Follow the Car Wreck Checklist >
A Photo Is Worth A Thousand Words
After a car wreck, a camera is your best friend. A photograph of the scene as it is before the debris is cleared before vehicles are moved and before police arrive is the best evidence of the aftermath of a wreck.
You should take as many pictures as possible, but you should focus on the following items:
- Property Damage – Pictures of your car can be sent to your insurance company to ensure that you receive full value for the repairs, as well as the diminishment in value you will see after repairs. Pictures of the other driver and their car before they are moved or repaired can help us prove fault if that issue arises.
- Injuries – Pictures of your injuries as they appear right after an accident can show the severity of the injury, as well as help, avoid questions of which injuries were caused by the accident by the time settlement negotiations take place.
- Traffic Signs – On occasion, the issue of who is “at fault” or “liable” in a wreck comes up. Taking pictures of the traffic signs as they exist on the day of the crash can sometimes help clear these liability questions up without the need for a fight.
- Witnesses – Many times, witnesses that were not involved in the wreck are present at the scene, but many times they leave before police arrive. Pictures of these witnesses and their identification (if they allow you to take them) are very helpful if we need testimony from them as the case progresses.
- Road Hazards – Sometimes, a wreck is not the fault of a driver at all. Sometimes there are hazards in the road—potholes, signs, malfunctioning traffic signals, and the like—that shouldn’t be there. If your wreck is caused by a similar hazard, taking pictures of the hazard can help prove a negligence case against whoever created the hazard.
Accident scene photography is important because, besides eyewitness accounts and a police record, it might be the only reliable evidence that can be collected from the scene.
TIP: IN ADDITION TO TAKING PHOTOS, CONSIDER WRITING DOWN WHAT YOU REMEMBER ABOUT THE ACCIDENT AS SOON AS POSSIBLE. DOCUMENT THESE DETAILS BEFORE THEY’RE LOST FROM MEMORY.
What If You Are Injured And Cannot Take Photos?
In this situation, you want to try to make sure to document the scene anyway. If any of your passengers or witnesses are able to take photos on your phone, you may allow them to do so. In more severe wrecks, law enforcement will take scene photos as well. You may request them to take photos of your injuries.
While photos are useful and important, they are not strictly necessary in any case. Determinations of fault and severity of injuries can be proven through your own testimony, witness testimony, and documentary evidence, like medical records and wreck reports.
If you are unfortunate enough to get in a car wreck, whether you are able to take pictures or not, it is important to hire a lawyer who can navigate the liability process effectively.
Not all lawyers are equal in their training and qualifications. The Florida Bar does not typically allow lawyers to hold themselves out as “experts.” However, the Bar does allow lawyers who have extensive experience in personal injury and tort cases to become specialists in civil trial.
Only one percent of Florida lawyers have this certification. Two out of three of the lawyers on staff at Zarzaur Law, P.A. are Board Certified in Civil Trial.
So, when potential clients ask us about whether or when to hire a lawyer after an accident, we remind them that only a Board-Certified civil trial lawyer is a specialist in this area of the law. Since all injury lawyers have the same “no fee no cost unless you win” payout structure, there is no reason to hire someone who is not a specialist.
Joe Zarzaur is a Board Certified Civil Trial Attorney whose firm is dedicated to promoting community safety since 2007. ZARZAUR LAW’S AREAS OF PRACTICE: Serious Personal Injury, Product Defect, Auto Accidents, Cycling Accidents, Motor Vehicle Accidents, Products Liability, Wrongful Death, Community Safety, Boat and Jet Ski Accidents, Slip and Fall Injuries, and more. Licensed in Alabama and Florida.
If you’ve been the victim of an accident, it’s important that you don’t make any rash decisions. Put yourself in the best possible position to receive the justice you deserve. It is also important to consult with a Board Certified Trial lawyer who has the knowledge and experience to help you. We know accidents can be stressful and want to make the process as easy as possible for you. Call Zarzaur Law, P.A. today at (855) Hire-Joe for a free legal consultation or visit www.zarzaurlaw.com.