If you’re involved in a motor vehicle collision in Illinois, one of the most important things you can do is to take photos of the vehicles involved, the entire scene, and any accident injuries you’ve suffered right away. Close-up photos and detailed photos of your car accident can serve as critical evidence if you need to file an auto insurance claim against the at-fault driver.
Illinois law allows car accident victims to pursue financial compensation from the at-fault parties. This means that you must prove the other driver’s actions caused your car accident to recover the fair compensation that you need to cover your medical bills, lost wages, property damage, pain and suffering, and other financial damages.
Sometimes, the at-fault party may accept responsibility for the car crash, but this rarely happens. Often the at-fault party and their insurance company deny fault or even try to shift all the liability onto you. When this happens, you’ll need accident scene photos to prove what happened. Some of the crucial evidence that can support your story are in the form of accident photos or videos of the accident scene.
If you’ve been injured in a motor vehicle accident, the Cook County personal injury attorneys at CCAL can help you use accident pictures and other available pieces of evidence to build a strong accident compensation claim on your behalf. To schedule a free initial consultation, contact our experienced accident attorneys today at (312) 300-2515, or submit the contact form below.
Should I Take Photos After a Car Accident?
Accident pictures can prove bodily injury, damage to vehicles, and explain how the motor vehicle accident occurred. If the insurance professional doesn't believe what you tell them about how severe the physical harm you suffered is, a photo of those injuries can substantiate your accident injury claim. Also, capturing the accident on video can help you prove the extent of your injuries and potential repairs to your vehicle. Photos and/or video is one is the best type of evidence to support your story in the claims process.
If the at-fault driver involved in the motor vehicle accident claims that the accident didn't cause any damage to your car, damage photos taken at the crash scene can show the severity of the damage.
Accident photos can do more than just show the extent of damage after a car accident. They can provide the clearest evidence of how a collision occurred.
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For instance, a set of photos that capture rainy weather, traffic signals, traffic light, traffic sign, hazard lights, skid marks, street names, and a yield sign at an intersection, can all be a sign that a car accident occurred because the other driver was traveling too fast for the conditions, failed to yield, or attempted to brake suddenly. An accident photo showing lack of skid marks shows that the other driver was distracted and didn't brake before the car collision. Photos showing damage to a certain part of a vehicle also can assign fault.
What are the Things to be Considered in Taking Photos of Your Car Accident?
It's essential to take photos of everything related to a motor vehicle accident. Besides taking photos of the accident scene, vehicle identification, vehicle damages, and road safety features; take photos of the weather conditions, your injuries, photos of witnesses, eye witnesses’ information, and the responding police officer and their contact information/badge number. Photos can be useful even if the accident is just a minor collision.
If you don't take pictures, you may forget these crucial crash details. A car accident can be traumatic, and it's common to suffer from some memory loss, brain injury, or spinal injuries after a serious accident. Amnesia is also common among car accident victims who sustain serious head injuries in a motor vehicle collision Having photographs can help you remember who to contact for statements and how the crash happened.
The following tips are helpful when you're photographing the scene of a car accident. These tips can help you build a stronger accident claim:
- Take a lot of pictures. Taking too many photos is always better than taking a few accident pictures. You need not worry about having to sort through mountains of photos later on. Insurance claim investigators will examine the pictures and search for the crucial details. It's essential to note that similar pictures may reveal different details about the same crash scene.
- Take detailed photos and close-up photos. It's essential to leave car accident details undisturbed. However, if you can, get close to car crash details and photograph them. Many cameras have a zoom function, which allows you to capture close-up shots without risking another crash. In an auto accident, weather conditions, road conditions, license plates, and other accident details can prove vital to damage valuation. If you take accident pictures from too far away, these crucial details may be lost.
- Wide shots tell a story. Further, it's essential to note that wide shots of the car accident scene and the surrounding location give your accident context. Thus, it's imperative to photograph lighting, adverse weather conditions, and road conditions.
- Capture the facts. Use your judgment on what would be valuable. Take photos of everything you think is valuable. This should include the other driver's license and insurance card or insurance policy information. At CCAL, our legal team can take care of finding the most useful photographs for your injury claim.
What Happens When You Don't Take Pictures?
If you don't take photos at the scene of an accident, the insurance agent representing the at-fault party may dispute how the auto crash happened and who should be held responsible.
A lack of documentation of your physical injuries and unusual symptoms–especially if you didn't seek medical assistance immediately and don't have any medical record–may be viewed by an insurance adjuster as a lack of documented personal injuries. Its best to keep detailed records of your medical expenses following the car accident. Failing to take photos at the scene of the accident, such as skid marks, may make it difficult to prove that the at-fault driver slammed on their brakes while they to stop their vehicle suddenly.
What If I'm Unable to Take Photos After My Auto Accident?
The best time to take automobile accident photographs is immediately after the motor vehicle accident while you're waiting for the police officers to arrive and before the vehicles involved in the accident are moved. Obviously taking photos at the scene of an accident isn't always possible. An accident victim’s injuries may be so serious that the person needs immediate emergency medical care.
If you're unable to take photographs after your auto accident, ask someone else to take photographs. There are many options as well. For instance, there's a good chance that another person at the scene of the crash took photos. This might include accident investigators or police officers who respond to the motor vehicle accident and prepare an accident report, the other driver involved in the auto accident, or even witnesses to the motor vehicle collision.
A thorough investigation can help you track down these parties and request access to pictures that they may have. Depending on where the car accident occurred, a traffic camera or security camera may have even captured the accident on tape or collected some pictures.
It is also possible that a friend or family member will take initiative to go to the scene of the crash and take photographs upon hearing that you have been involved in a car crash. If you hire a personal injury attorney or car accident reconstruction expert–or if your family contacts a car accident attorney on your behalf–the attorney or their investigative team will probably collect photographic evidence as soon as possible.
Contact Our Experienced Chicago Car Accident Lawyers Today for Help!
A car accident lawsuit is a complicated matter. If you have been involved in a car crash in Chicago and have questions about how to with your accident injury claim process, talking to an experienced car accident lawyer can help you protect your rights and understand your legal options. Also, it can help you make educated decisions with your financial future in mind.
At CCAL, our Chicago car accident attorneys know how to help you recover the maximum compensation after a serious accident caused by another person's negligence. We have helped thousands of car accident victims in Chicago and throughout Illinois recover the compensation they deserve for their personal injury claims and so we know the types of evidence needed to help you recover the compensation you deserve. To schedule a free initial consultation, contact our personal injury law firm today at (312) 300-2515 or use our online form to schedule your first meeting!