Have you been hurt in South Carolina because of someone else’s negligence? If so, you may be eligible for compensation for your medical bills and related losses, which you can seek by filing a claim with the negligent party’s insurance. You will need to provide evidence of negligence for your claim to be successful. The insurance company could deny your claim if it lacks such supporting evidence.
Taking pictures in the aftermath of a motor vehicle accident, slip and fall, or similar accident is a great way to create compelling evidence. However, not all pictures of an accident scene are equally valuable. Learn how to take accident scene photos properly, and you may generate more useful evidence.
Here are some tips to remember as you photograph the accident.
Cover as Many Angles as Possible
Imagine you’re taking pictures for someone who wants to be able to examine the accident scene as if they’re actually there. A single picture gives this hypothetical investigator a limited view of the accident.
Instead, cover as many angles as possible when taking pictures of a crash scene. Include both wide angles and close-ups. A viewer should have a general idea of the scene while also having the option to inspect details more closely.
Consider Doing a Video Walkthrough
The video cameras attached to our smartphones are a valuable documentary tool. Recording a video walkthrough of the scene can give an investigator a real-life account of the aftermath of an accident as though they were there themselves. It can provide further context for the still images you’ve taken and give a viewer a better idea of how the scene fits together.
Photograph Any Relevant Signs and Signage
Take photos of all signs and signals near an accident scene. These details may be relevant later on.
For example, pictures of traffic signs and signals near a car accident scene may suggest a negligent driver ignored a signal. In the aftermath of a slip and fall, taking pictures of nearby signage may help you show there was no signage indicating a slipping hazard.
Photograph Other Damaged Property
Depending on the circumstances, you might not be the only one affected by the accident. It might also have resulted in damage to other nearby property.
Without putting yourself in danger, inspect the scene for signs of such damage. Photograph any you find.
Take Pictures of Your Injuries
Inspect your body for any visual signs of injury after an accident. Even if all you have is minor bruising, take pictures of it.
It’s also critical to see a doctor after an accident, regardless of whether you think you’ve been seriously hurt. It’s possible to not notice injury symptoms until hours or even days following an accident. Err on the side of caution and see a doctor immediately after documenting the scene.
Ensure Distances and Heights Are Clear
Quality accident scene photographs give viewers a sense of the locations of the various elements involved in the accident. Photographs should also provide a sense of their distance from each other, their sizes, heights, etc.
Try to capture this by photographing all such elements in relation to one another. If you have a tape measure or another item that can indicate scale, use it to measure distances between these elements as well. In addition, try to include other items in the frame (like signs) that give a sense of the size of everything nearby.
Photograph Identifying Information
Photograph anything that can help you identify or contact the other parties involved in the accident. For example, after a car accident, you may photograph another driver’s license plate and insurance card.
Take photographs of everyone involved in the accident as well as all witnesses. Ask everyone you take a picture of to provide contact information. Make sure you know whose information corresponds with which pictures.
Ask Others to Take Pictures
Bystanders sometimes take photos of an accident, which can be useful as evidence. For instance, maybe you need to undergo surgery due to injuries sustained in a car crash. Researchers have found that photographs of surgical operations can influence personal injury settlements. Thus, you may want to ask your doctors if they believe it’s necessary to photograph your injuries or treatment.
Contact a South Carolina Personal Injury Attorney
Gathering as much evidence as you can in the aftermath of an accident can improve your odds of receiving compensation. You may also strengthen your case by enlisting the help of a South Carolina personal injury lawyer.
At Murphy Crantford Meehan, we’ll help you put together a strong claim with supporting evidence. Quality accident scene photographs can help us get started. However, we can still provide valuable representation even if you didn’t take accident scene photos. Learn more by contacting us online or calling us today for a free case review.
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