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How to photograph an accident scene

Taking photographs at an accident scene can help document evidence that can be extremely useful in personal injury litigation. While almost everyone has a cellphone with a camera, few people know exactly what they should photograph. Many don't know when it is appropriate to take photographs.

If you are involved in an accident, regardless of who was at fault, your first responsibility to attend to the injured. If someone is bleeding, apply pressure to the wound to stop it. If someone may have a back or neck injury, call an ambulance and don't attempt to move them unless there is a risk of fire. If you are injured, get medical help and ask a friend or relative to take pictures for you. No one should take pictures of an accident scene when there are injured people who need medical attention.

When you photograph an accident scene, those pictures can serve two purposes: establishing fault and documenting the force of the collision. Here are some examples of things you should photograph:

  • Skid marks and debris on the roadway. Skid marks can show if a driver attempted to stop or make evasive maneuvers.
  • Exterior vehicle damage can show where the impact occurred-and with how much force. Where the impact occurred can have a bearing on liability. The force of the collision can have a bearing on injuries.
  • Interior vehicle damage can provide a vivid reminder of the effect of the collision on the passengers and driver. Taking pictures of items from the rear of the vehicle that were thrown forward is another way of showing the force of impact.

The insurance company of the other driver may try to evade responsibility for the crash. They may also attempt to minimize your injuries. Once your vehicle is repaired or wrecked, you will lose evidence that could make your case stronger.

The law firm of Farris & Farris PA in Wilson, North Carolina, offers a free initial consultation to discuss your rights after a car accident.

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