The most important part of assuring that your legal interests are protected in the event of an accident is to document everything at the scene. While the police investigation provides a complete written report, mistakes do happen. The best way to cover yourself is with pictures; as many pictures as you can take.
Even the simplest mistakes in an accident report can prevent you from either being compensated, as you should, or sometimes even being compensated at all. Here are important details to take photographically register for yourself if you can.
- The License Plates
Get a picture of the license plate number of all vehicles involved. While this may seem like common sense, it can present problems if there are any mistakes in the numbers. If more than one vehicle is involved, snap a picture of every one of them. Good suggestion is to make a written note of the order, if it was a multiple car accident; especially the vehicle you feel is responsible for the wreck.
Photograph ALL the Damage.
While the police report will log a written account of all the damage, get pictures of every bit of damage you think may have been a result of the accident. Assess the damage to your vehicle, but most importantly, check for the damage to the other vehicles.
This can be extremely important if the other party or parties try to place the blame on you. Assume other people involved in an accident are inherently honest, but document all the damage incurred. People have been known to exaggerate the damage to their car after an accident in an unscrupulous attempt to get other problems paid for, either by you, or by the insurance company.
- The More the Better
Take many pictures from many different angles. Shoot a photograph of all 4 sides of every car involved, multiple images if you can. When you get home, you can delete extra pictures that are not useful, but you will assure yourself that you will have at least one clear and concise picture of every aspect of your accident.
- Shoot the Scene
Photograph the scene of the accident. Get street signs, stop signs, billboards, or other landmarks to designate the actual location that the accident occurred. Get a good shot of any debris in the road, weather conditions, stop signs, or anything else that may have contributed to the accident. Be extra attentive to any obscure road signs that may have helped cause the accident. Take nothing for granted. Best to err on the side of caution when taking pictures of the accident scene. Just like you want every side of all the cars involved, get a clear picture of every potential thing that might have caused the accident. Your lawyer can sort them out.
- Save Your Photographs
The next step is to immediately get them off your phone and onto a safe mechanism to insure they do not accidentally get erased before any claims or court proceedings are finalized. The best advice is to save all the usable pictures to both a disc and the cloud. Get a copy to your attorney the first time you meet with them.
When it comes to automobile accidents, the old saying, "a picture is worth a thousand words," can be really true. Many times there will be contradictory statements of what really happened and how much damage there was, but if you have a solid portfolio of visual evidence to present on your behalf, you and your attorney will be able to better see that your interests are protected. Contact a firm like Knafo Law Offices to learn more.