Photos and videos of an accident scene are important in demonstrating what happened and where. However, they are not the priority in an accident.
After an accident, you need to focus on staying safe and getting the medical attention you need to make a full recovery. You should only take photos once you’re certain you’re in a safe place and you are not getting in the way of emergency personnel.
When and why should you take photos and videos at the accident scene? Learn more about this important activity and what to look out for.
Why You Should Prioritize Medical Care and Safety
An accident scene is dangerous depending on its severity and location. Whether it’s a car accident or a slip and fall scenario, you should wait for emergency personnel to arrive and offer guidance before documenting the scene. Interfering with this process could put you and others in the area at risk of further harm.
And, you want to ensure that you’re well enough to take photos and videos. Accident victims who prioritize documenting the scene might be jeopardizing their long-term health. You might be suffering from:
- A traumatic brain injury
- Spinal injury
- Burns or lacerations
- Severe bleeding, including internal bleeding
- Changes to vision or hearing
- Organ damage
If you are in a car accident, road noise can also impact your judgment and make it more challenging for you to know when it is safe to navigate the scene of the accident.
Regardless of the circumstances, waiting for emergency personnel to arrive and offer guidance is the best approach to protect your well-being and offer the best chance of making a full recovery from the experience.
Why Is It Important to Take Photos or Videos?
Photos and videos can be a key piece of evidence in your personal injury insurance claim or lawsuit. They can help set the scene and bring it to life months or even years down the road when you pursue compensation for your injuries.
Regardless of the type of accident you experienced, having accident scene photos and videos can prove extremely valuable in your case. Consider taking the following images:
- Environmental conditions
- Property damage
- Surrounding area
- Nearby buildings and signs
- Traffic signals and landmarks
- Driver’s license plate and insurance information
- Close-up images showing intricate accident details like cracks in stairs or the dog tag or identification for the animal that attacked you
- The aftermath of the accident, such as tire marks on the roadway or blood on the sidewalk
As you consider what images and video to capture after an accident, don’t forget to take injury photos as well. These will help prove the extent of your injuries at the time of the accident. Even once you’ve made a full recovery, you’ll have documented evidence of the severity of your injuries to go with your doctor’s report.
Ideally, you want to take injury photos before receiving treatment. However, for acute injuries, this isn’t always possible. And don’t forget, you should always prioritize your well-being over documenting the scene.
When photographing injuries, do your best to ensure good lighting. This will help represent your injuries with the greatest clarity and accuracy to provide evidence in your case.
Photograph the healing process as well. This will further demonstrate the duration of your care and prove any long-term scarring or disfigurement you may have experienced.
If you’re unable to take accident scene or injury photos, ask someone else to do it for you once emergency personnel says it is safe.
Connect With Our Experienced Injury Lawyers
After an accident, get in contact with an Indiana personal injury attorney as soon as possible to protect your rights to pursue damages from the party responsible for your injuries. Stewart & Stewart offers a free consultation to help injury victims recover.