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Your Guide for Taking Accident Photos in Seattle

By Pendergast Law on October 4, 2021

A person holding a smartphone at the scene of a car accident.If you have been involved in a traffic crash, pictures of your injuries and the accident scene can serve as valuable evidence in your claim or lawsuit. Of course, your first priority is to get emergency medical attention for anyone who needs it, including yourself. If you are able, in addition to reporting the crash to the police, exchanging information with the other driver, and getting contact information for eyewitnesses, take as many pictures as you can at the scene of the accident. If you are unable to do so because of your injuries, try to have someone you trust take them for you.

Why Is It So Important to Take Pictures At the Scene of the Accident?

Photographs are important to document how the accident occurred, the extent of your injuries, and the damage to your vehicle. They can aid your attorney’s investigation and provide evidence for insurance adjusters investigating your claim or, if necessary, in a personal injury lawsuit arising from the accident. Pictures can help establish the location of the crash, the position of the vehicles, collision points, road conditions at the time of the accident, and many other facts. They can also help you recall details more precisely if you must testify in court or have your deposition taken later.

What Should You Capture In Accident Scene Pictures?

Capture all the details you can that may become important later in the case. For example, take pictures of:

  • Accident site (intersection or other location): Document nearby traffic signs.
  • Your vehicle and any damage it sustained
  • Other vehicles involved and the damage they sustained
  • Damage to a building, roadway sign, or other stationary object
  • Any skid marks on the road
  • Shattered glass, vehicle parts, and other debris that may have been caused by the crash
  • Weather and environmental conditions – in case they may have been contributing factors to the accident
  • People at the accident scene – police officers, other driver and/or passengers, and witnesses to the crash
  • Make, model, and license plate numbers of other vehicles involved in the crash
  • Driver’s license, registration, and insurance information of the other driver
  • Any surrounding businesses: One or more nearby businesses may have had a camera in operation that captured the accident as it occurred.
  • All visible bodily injuries to you and your passengers: This is important to help substantiate your injuries. Take pictures at the scene, as soon as possible after the crash, and in the following days, if more bruises or other injuries appear.

How Should You Take Traffic Crash Accident Scene Pictures?

Smartphone images can prove to be helpful after a motor vehicle collision. Take as many pictures of the scene as possible – the more the better. Get pictures of the accident scene, the vehicles involved, and their relative positions, from several different angles and from different distances, near and far. When shooting the site and the vehicles, try to keep a common landmark in all your photos as a reference point for distance and scale.

To allow for the effects of weather conditions and sunlight, particularly as they pertain to vehicle damage, take pictures with and without a flash and with different flash intensities. When photographing the damage to your vehicle, be sure to include any damage to the interior.

Our Seattle car accident lawyers at Hardwick & Pendergast, P.S. have more than four decades of experience representing car accident victims. If we take on your case, we will guide you through the complex legal process of filing your claim and will be steadfast in pursuing the compensation you deserve. Call us at (425) 228-3860 or toll-free at (888) 228-3860 to schedule a free consultation if you have been injured in a motor vehicle accident.

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