Importance of Taking Pictures After a Car Accident
Being involved in a car accident can be a nuisance at the very least, and at worst a life-changing traumatic event. Regardless of the severity of an accident, it’s likely you will have to file an insurance claim with the at-fault driver’s insurance carrier and maybe even a personal injury lawsuit. The physical pain of injuries, the emotional trauma of the accident, and financial stress from economic losses related to the accent can be overwhelming. You can help your claim go more smoothly by taking pictures after the car accident. In some cases, you might not be physically able to take pictures, but you should make photos a priority whenever you have the chance. Keep reading to learn about the reasons why it’s important to take pictures after a car accident.
Photographic Evidence for Property Damage
Excluding minor fender-benders in a parking lot, most car accidents result in property damage to one or both vehicles involved. Taking photos of the damage provides clear evidence of the damage that occurred in the accident for insurance companies, and the court if necessary. When you have photo evidence of property damage, sketchy types cannot claim more damage than actually happened, nor can they deny the damage. Law enforcement typically comes to the scene of an accident and will describe the damage in their crash report. Yet, their narrative is an interpretation of what they see. Pictures of the damage help support the official narrative or correct it when it isn’t accurate. In other cases, the local police might be to busy to make it to the scene, especially when it’s a minor accident. Your photos of property damage might be the only evidence available.
Photographic Evidence for Injuries
Insurance companies and legal defense teams use any strategy they can to avoid liability and devalue your claim. One such strategy includes suggesting you had pre-existing injuries or that you sustained your injuries at a different time and place. Seeking medical attention after a car accident documents your injuries in your medical record, but photos can support your medical record. Some injuries are internal, but you should take photos of any visible injuries after a car accident. This establishes the time and place of your injuries for any claim or lawsuit you are involved in that is related to your car accident. You should also continue to take pictures of your injuries on a weekly, or daily basis as you are recovering. The progress you make also provides evidence to your attorney, insurance companies, and the court as to the value of your claim.
Photographic Evidence of Other Factors
You also need to take pictures of the scene of the accident and any potential causes after you are involved in a car accident. Photos of the scene of the accident help provide evidence for other factors besides property damage and injuries. For example, maybe an object in the road caused a driver to swerve or the road conditions were poor, so the driver blew out a tire and lost control of their vehicle. Take the time to snap photos in every direction because the information can be valuable for your claim. Your photos might reveal witnesses to the accident, who didn’t stop and provide their contact information, or security cameras at a nearby business that might have caught the accident on video.
Helps Determine Liability
Nevada is a tort liability state that requires drivers to carry a minimum of 25/50/20 liability coverage, which is $25,000 for bodily injury per person, $50,000 per accident, and $20,000 for property damage. In tort liability states, insurance companies assign fault, or liability, to an accident. Photos that you take of property damage and the scene of the accident provide information that allows insurance companies, and the court when applicable, to determine who caused the accident; and, therefore who is financially liable for the accident. Sometimes fault is obvious, even without pictures. Yet, in other cases, determining liability for a car accident can be tricky. Photos can also be useful for accident reconstruction specialists and other experts.
Makes Disputes from the Insurance Company More Difficult
Insurance companies don’t stay in business by paying out every claim that comes their way. You can be sure adjusters and representatives for the insurance carrier(s) involved in a car accident claim will go the extra mile to deny your claim. This means disputing damage, injuries, and facts. Even if the insurance company doesn’t have ground for denial, they will try to devalue your claim by disputing every possible aspect. Taking pictures after a car accident makes disputes from the insurance carrier far more difficult. They have to work twice as hard to find a legal reason to deny the claim because photographic proof is more concrete than witness statements, police reports, and other evidence that is commonly part of a car accident claim. Instead, your car accident photos can bolster the other evidence and maximize your chances for a positive outcome.
Prevents Falling Victim to a Hit-and-Run Driver
Sometimes car accidents involve hit-and-run drivers. Some drivers leave the scene immediately, while others get anxious waiting for the police to arrive and decide to leave. In either case, taking pictures of the other vehicle(s) and driver(s) involved in a car accident can help you avoid dealing with a hit-and-run. If another driver causes an accident, but you have no way to identify him or her, you will be stuck paying for the financial aspects of your accident and injury. If you are involved in a car accident, immediately take pictures of the license plate and a full shot of the vehicle, so those who look at the photo can identify the make and model. Even if the driver speeds away at some point, you will have the evidence you need to file a claim.
If you have suffered injuries in a Las Vegas car accident, contact Gina Corena & Associates online or at (702) 680-1111 for a free case evaluation.