By: Chris Reynolds
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Why Taking Pictures at the Car Accident Scene Is Important
Accidents happen fast, and they often cause a person to experience intense physical and psychological symptoms immediately. Also, there are often many conversations to be had at the scene as people arrive to talk to you to comfort you, assess your injuries, and investigate what happened. With friends and family, medical personnel, law enforcement officers, and witnesses, an accident scene can become chaotic very quickly. There is a lot to remember to do after a car accident, so it is understandable why many people do not think to take pictures at the scene of an accident.
Insurance companies and juries use many things to determine how they value a case, and in automobile accidents, one big factor is often the amount of damage to the vehicle. The conventional theory is that the greater the damage, the higher the likelihood that the person was injured. Of course, this is obviously not always true, and every case is unique. There are certainly cases with extreme damage to the vehicle, but the person is not injured. Conversely, there are definitely situations where there is minimal damage to a vehicle, but the injury to the person is severe. So, there is not always a correlation between property damage to a vehicle and the likelihood of injury. However, insurance companies and juries seem to generally use this generalized correlation: the bigger the damage, the bigger the injury, and vice versa.
What does that mean for those injured in car accidents? It means that you should always take pictures of the property damage. There are specially trained individuals, often in the form of biomechanical engineers, who can study photographs of motor vehicle damage, along with other factors, and make conclusions about how the force of the impact was distributed throughout the vehicle and, along with a medical doctor, opinions the existence and severity of injury from the motor vehicle accident can be made. However, without pictures, it becomes difficult for these specialists to make proper opinions that can help juries understand what happened in the accident to cause the injury.
We have all heard the phrase, “a picture is worth a thousand words.” This holds true for car accidents as well. If there are no pictures of the damage or scene, it becomes difficult for juries to imagine what really happened. A person in the accident might describe what happened, but those words won’t likely lead to as full an understanding of how things look when compared to a picture of what happened.
For those that choose a trial, photographs can often become a massive factor in the verdict. For those that settle, photographs are often a big motivator in the amount of money the insurance company offers. If you can, please take as many pictures as you can if you are in a car accident.
If you have been injured in a motor vehicle accident, please contact experienced personal injury attorney Chris Reynolds for a free consultation about your options.