Documenting the car accident scene can help make sure you aren’t held responsible for an accident that wasn’t your fault.
When you are in a car accident in Missouri, the party responsible for paying for any damages and injuries is the driver, or drivers, who are deemed negligent.
Missouri is a comparative negligence state, which means that it might be possible for more than one, or, in some instances, multiple drivers to be held liable in an auto accident depending on their “portion” of negligence in the accident.
What Is Negligence?
Negligence is a legal term that states that whoever acts in such a way to cause the accident is responsible for paying for their portion. It might also be that someone fails to respond when appropriate and that failure to act is directly responsible for the accident.
There are accidents where the fault of an individual or individuals is easy to determine. For example, if someone receives a ticket for running a red light and hits another car, it is usually straightforward who is negligent. However, there are also times when determining who is at fault is not so simple.
The best way to make sure that you aren’t left holding the liability bag for an accident that wasn’t your fault is to make sure to document everything to prove what role, if any, you played in an accident.
Why Photos Are so Important
Not many people think about taking pictures at the scene of a car accident, but they are a critical part of lending credence to the claims that the parties in an accident assert. In addition, by showing the aftermath of a crash, it can sometimes be apparent who’s story is most accurate.
How to Take the Best Photos
It isn’t always enough to take pictures of a car involved in the accident. Although the police report will help to support your case, it is an excellent idea to take pictures of:
Different views and perspectives of the accident scene. Make sure to get photos from different angles so that a judge and jury can see the full extent of the car accident.
Get all cars that were involved in the crash. If there are multiple cars and one sped off out of sight, make sure to include it, even if it didn’t directly hit your car. Again, you will want to make sure to get all automobiles involved.
Signs and traffic lights. It is important to show the positioning of the street signs and lights to prove whether or not they were obscured or in plain sight. If someone claims they didn’t see a sign, you will want to provide evidence that either they did or didn’t see it due to the sign’s placement.
Weather conditions. Weather conditions can severely impact someone’s ability to control their car. For example, if there was a rainstorm that made things more difficult to see or ice that made the roads slippery, then those are all things you will want to document on film.
Frequently Asked Questions About Taking Pictures After a Car Accident
How Will the Accident Photos Help Your Claim?
Taking photos allows you to document key details about the accident that might otherwise slip your mind. The photos will also play an important role in proving liability.
Which Details Should You Capture?
Every vehicle accident is unique. Thus, the photos you take will depend on the circumstances that led to the accidents. That said, there are some essential details you should capture, if possible, as you wait for emergency services to arrive at the accident scene:
- Pictures of any injuries
- Pictures of nearby road signs
- Pictures of the parties involved, police officers, witnesses, or at the scene
- Pictures of the internal or external damage to all the vehicles involved
- Pictures of the other vehicles’ license plates, insurance, and other registration details
- Pictures of the general surroundings: nearby buildings, road conditions, the weather, etc.
How Many Pictures Should You Take?
You can’t take too many pictures. Take as many pictures as you can. Equally important, take the same pictures from different angles. This will help create a vivid picture of the accident.
What if You Cannot Take Photos Due to the Severity of Your Injury?
Your safety should always come first. If you cannot take pictures of the accident scene because you’re injured or light-headed, don’t attempt to do so. Instead, ask someone you trust to take the photos for you.
What if You Never Took Photos of Your Car Accident: Is Your Case Lost?
No! Your failure to take photos of the accident will not be used to discredit your claim. Missouri does not mandate victims to capture accident scene photos.
Do You Need a Lawyer If You Have Good Photos of Your Accident?
While photo evidence can be helpful, the truth is it’s not sufficient enough to convince the court to rule in your favor. Therefore, you will greatly benefit from the help of an experienced attorney who can help you collect the evidence you need, negotiate with the insurance company, and, if necessary, take your case to court.
Speak With a St. Louis Car Accident Lawyer
If you are in an accident, it is an excellent idea to be proactive about recording the events of what happened both before and after. You will be glad that you recorded the events if fault comes into question. To help your St. Louis car accident lawyer defend you to the best of their ability, be sure to document everything you experienced in the car accident carefully.