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5 key things to take pictures of after a car accident

You don't have a dash cam on your car, so, when a young driver runs a stop sign and hits you on the way home from work, you don't have any live footage of the crash. You were driving home with your spouse after picking up your child from daycare, and the crash injured both of them. You desperately wish you had pictures to back up your case.

You do have your phone, though, and you decide to take some still photos of the scene. What should you focus on? What things can help your case the most? Below are five critical things you need to photograph.

1. Your own injuries.

Remember, one of the key components of the case is showing that the injuries you and your loved ones suffered actually happened in the crash. While medical and police records can help, having real-time pictures helps to prove you weren't injured before the accident and then saw it as a good way to get compensation.

2. The scene itself.

General pictures of the scene can help show exactly how the crash happened. They show the positions of the cars, the debris in the road, and the like. For instance, your pictures could show that the other driver had a stop sign and you did not, backing up your claim that he or she ran the sign and caused the crash.

3. Damage to your car.

This is important for insurance purposes, but it also helps to show how the wreck played out. If the case winds up in court, this can be convincing evidence to prove how and why your injures occurred. Moreover, the way the car was damaged can often tell police and other authorities how the wreck must have transpired if both drivers cannot agree.

4. Driver information.

You and the other driver need to exchange insurance information, and it can be wise to quickly snap pictures that help identify that driver. For instance, you could take a photo of the car's license plate to put with your copies of the person's contact information, driver's license number and insurance information.

5. The conditions.

Road conditions can play into an accident, and pictures can help to show exactly what those conditions were like at the time of the crash. Conditions change quickly, so taking pictures promptly is the key. Things that may be worth recording include the glare from the sun, the condition of the pavement, the location of the street lights and the sight lines that you had from inside your vehicle.

Remember, details are often forgotten as time goes by. It can be hard to reconstruct the scene from memory. Quickly snapping a number of pictures right after the crash helps to preserve it indefinitely and gives strength to your case.

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