Car accidents happen out of the blue and often produce a chaotic aftermath and a lot of stress and frustration. Figuring out what to do next might seem like an insurmountable task in the midst of all that is happening, but it is important to remain calm and keep some of these crucial steps in mind. Of course, you should always make sure everyone is safe and call for emergency medical assistance if necessary. You should also call the police. Officers at the scene will file a police report, which is a must-have not only your own insurance company, but for your claim against the at-fault party.
After carrying out these initial steps, your next priority should be to photograph the accident. This is something many individuals fail to do. However, photographic evidence is an incredibly powerful asset to have in a personal injury case, so remember to take some pictures while at the scene.
Why are pictures so vital? Here is a list of reasons you might not know about:
- You can argue with words and retellings of an event, but it is a lot harder to dispute a photo. Photos can show proof of the cause of the accident, the contributing factors that might have led to it, and the extent of the damages you suffered as a result of the collision.
- Photos can also show injuries, property damage, damage sustained by the vehicles involved, and other details that might be able to prove your case. Memory is not always reliable, so having photos will not only help your case, but help jog your memory as well in case you begin to forget any details.
- When you begin to negotiate with insurance adjusters, photos of the car accident can be presented to substantiate the fault of the other party, helping you obtain the full compensation you deserve.
Knowing how to take the right pictures is also important. You can have a plethora of photos, but if they are too redundant or not showing pertinent details, they might not be that helpful. Here are some suggestions:
- Take pictures of your injuries: This is something you should do on the day of the accident and in the days following in order to document their progression. If your injuries are not immediately visible, which is often the case with bruising, take pictures as soon as they appear.
- Take pictures of damaged property: Property damage does not only refer to the damage done to the vehicles involved, but the damage done to the surrounding area as well. If a building, roadway, or sign was damaged, take pictures of that as well. If there are skid marks, debris, or other evidence of the accident, photograph that as well. Documenting these details can play a major role in reconstructing the accident, if necessary.
- Photograph witnesses, officers, and the other driver: This is more helpful for you than anything else. Some personal injury cases take time to resolve and, by then, you might forget who was at the scene. If your attorney wants to contact a witness or police officer who was at the scene, having a photo and a name can helpful.
- Photograph the details: Be sure to take pictures of the make, model, and license plate number of all vehicles involved, as well as pictures of the driver’s license, insurance, and registration information.
- Always take more photos than you need: It is always better to have more photos, even if you end up not needing all of them. The last thing you want is to review your photos and realize you are either missing something, or simply do not have enough. Different angles can reveal different things, so take as many as possible. You might not use them all, but this is one circumstance in which more actually is more.
- Check the time stamp: Depending on what type of device you are using, you might need to check the date and time on your camera. If you are using a smartphone, the date and time are automatically stored, but if you are using an actual camera, do a double check to make sure it is correct.
Shreveport Car Accident Attorney
An average of nearly 1.3 million people die in road crashes every year, while another 20 to 50 million are injured or permanently disabled. If you or someone you love was injured in a car accident, it is time to take action and file a claim to seek compensation for medical bills and other expenses. At the Law Office of Robert B. Dunlap, you will receive quality representation and legal advice for your case.
If a negligent driver caused the accident that resulted in your injuries, our experienced Shreveport personal injury attorney will investigate the incident and determine the facts to build your case. Our firm is skilled at representing a broad range of car accident victims, including those involving a distracted driver, multi-vehicle crashes, and more. Auto accident compensation can encompass a variety of damages such as medical bills, lost wages and income, lost earning capacity, damages to your vehicle or replacement, and pain and suffering.
Our law office takes pride in how we handle cases. For effective and compassionate representation, contact Robert Dunlap today at (318) 562-5044 to schedule a free consultation. You should not have to pay for someone else’s mistakes.