According to the auto insurance industry estimates, the average American will be involved in an auto accident once every 17.9 years. Since you never know when an accident may happen, it's a good idea that you familiarize yourself with the steps that you should take in collecting evidence to build a strong case. The other parties involved may make false claims or may twist some facts to defend their position, which may hurt your claim for compensation. Photographic evidence of the scene of the accident can be very telling, can support your claims and protect your position. Here are 3 tips to consider.
Photographs of Skid Marks Are Crucial
Most people focus most of their time taking photographs of their own vehicle and the other vehicles involved in the accident, and they forget to take a good look at the ground for skid marks. There's a good chance that you and the other parties involved may have differing versions of the accident. Skid marks can be a very good indicator of which vehicle was at-fault or how the accident happened.
From skid marks, experts can determine not only the path that was taken by each vehicle but also the speed of the vehicle. The speed of the vehicle can be computed by experts in accident reconstruction from the skid marks using several variables, like the "coefficient of friction" of the road. This evidence can eliminate a lot of 'he-said, she-said' scenarios.
Clearly Show Weather Conditions
A common defense that you can expect in court surrounds the weather conditions of that day. The other party may paint a different picture by claiming that you are also partially at-fault due to the poor weather condition of that day. If the accident happened during the day, make sure that the position of the sun is clearly shown in the photographs. The other driver may claim that the sun was just emerging or setting on the horizon creating a glare that prevented all parties from seeing clearly. If the accident happened during nighttime, take pictures of the night sky and where the moon is located.
Generally speaking, photographs of the weather condition are usually used for defensive purposes rather than for offensive purposes. Your attorney will use these photographs to disprove the other parties' contention that the weather condition contributed to the accident. These contentions may cause you to receive less compensation from sympathetic judges.
Provide Reference Points and Road Signs
To clearly determine where the accident happened, make sure to include reference points in your photographs. Do not make the mistake of solely taking photographs of the vehicles involved. You want to make sure that you capture some of the background in the photographs as well. Common reference points include traffic signs and road signs.
You should use the reference points to your advantage. In the event that the other driver is supposed to yield, you want to make sure that you include the yield sign in the background of your photographs. This way, you can easily disprove any false claims that the other parties might make. It will also solidify any claims you make.
If it's possible, don't move your vehicle until after you have taken photographs of the scene of the accident. This will give your attorney a good idea of the position of each car on the road. Take as many photographs as you think you'll need to clearly depict how the accident happened. The clearer the picture that you can paint for an auto accident attorney from a law firm like Gibbs and Parnell, then the better he or she will be able to represent you and make sure that you get the amount of compensation that you deserve.