When you get into an accident, the last thing that’s on your mind is taking out your smartphone to snap some photos. But not taking pictures of the scene of the accident could make it harder for you to receive the compensation you need later down the line.
Photographic evidence can be crucial
Pennsylvania is a no-fault insurance state, which means that regardless of who was at fault for the accident, each party involved in the crash will collect compensation from their own insurance companies.
So, despite the fact that you will likely turn to your insurance provider for help, insurance companies are first and foremost a business looking to make money. In order to get the most out of your settlement, then, you can benefit by having detailed evidence of the extent of your damages. You can do this by taking photos at the scene of your accident if you are able.
How to photograph your accident
There are several important elements of the scene of your accident that you should capture with your camera. Keep in mind that you should take multiple shots from different angles to ensure that you get a clear picture of the following:
- Damage to your car — Your vehicle likely sustained exterior damage as well as interior damage. Take photos of any dents or scrapes both inside and outside your car. This includes debris that might have scattered on the road. You can even use objects for scale such as keys, hands or people to show how significant the damage is.
- Road conditions — Potholes and gravel roads might have contributed to the damage your car received and to the accident as a whole. Capturing these elements can act as evidence to support your claim.
- Weather — The weather often makes for dangerous driving conditions. Make sure to capture the conditions on the day of your accident. This can include snow banks, puddles, overcast skies and even bright sunlight.
- Surrounding area — You can establish when and where the accident happened by taking pictures of your surroundings. This includes road signs, intersections, stop lights and any nearby businesses or landmarks. Sometimes, traffic lights or business security systems have cameras that may have captured the accident on film.
- Injuries — If you are seriously injured, your priority should be to seek medical attention as soon as possible. But if you are able enough to photograph the scene of your accident, you should also pay attention to any minor injuries you may have sustained. This includes bruising, small cuts or noticeable swelling.
Seek the compensation you deserve
A car accident can have a significant impact on your life. Whether you sustained long-lasting injuries or are facing rising insurance rates, getting a fair settlement can mean the difference between a stressful comeback and a smooth recovery.