The most common causes of a motor vehicle accident are distracted driving, reckless and aggressive driving, or simple negligence and mistake. Regardless of the cause of the accident, when a person suffers bodily injury from the accident, they are entitled to fair compensation for their injuries. To obtain full and fair compensation for the injuries, quality evidence is required. Insurance companies don’t just pay money because it’s demanded.
This is part 3 of our 5-part series covering evidence that attorneys should collect to maximize the value of a motor vehicle accident case.
Photographs will provide valuable support to the case by helping to establish liability for the accident and defeat false blame and claims by the at-fault driver. Photographs will help establish the significance of the collision and the mechanism or justifiable cause of the injury sustained. Finally, photographs can help in establishing the significance of the injury itself.
The accident scene will soon be cleared and the cars will soon be repaired, so the opportunity to collect this evidence can be very limited. It is important to take photographs of the scene, including:
- skid marks
- traffic control signs/signals
- debris left in the roadway
- sight obstructions, or lack thereof
Of special concern is taking photographs of any aggravating factors, such as pill bottles, drug paraphernalia, beer bottles, or other alcohol containers in and around the other driver's car.
Photographs taken of the car damage provide excellent evidence to support and help establish the significance of the impact of the vehicles. The greater the impact, the greater understanding and recognition of one’s injury, pain, and suffering there is likely to be.
While numerous factors contribute to a person’s bodily injury and the severity of the injury, it can be very powerful evidence to have photographs of the damage to both vehicles, as one vehicle may show more damage than the other. The tendency is to get close-up photographs of the car damage and, while this is good, it can be difficult to determine the magnitude of the collision. It is best to also get wide photographs showing the damage sustained from a reasonable distance.
Photographs of injuries are also important. These would include photographs, of scratches, lacerations, stitches, bruising, and swelling of injured body parts. The injured body photographs should be taken as early as possible and throughout the healing process to show the different stages of recovery and, most importantly, any permanent scarring or disfiguration. Also, photographs should be taken of orthopedic devices, such as crutches, braces, slings, or casts, and of bandages over a wound or surgical site.
Just about everyone has a camera on their cell phones. If you’re the victim in an accident you should use that camera early, often, and throughout the process. Photographs should be taken from different angles, distances, and views. The more photographs there are, the better the evidence is likely to be.
To continue learning about the necessary evidence in a motor vehicle accident claim, return for Part 4 of our 5-part series. If you need immediate legal assistance, the Mark Casto Law Firm, PC is here to help. We can be reached online or by calling (706) 940-4002.